Ellen and Annemarie are similar in that they are both ten years old, go to the same school, and are Danish. They live in the same apartment building. Both friends have big dreams for their lives and for the future. But they also have many differences. Ellen is fearful about the Nazis, while Annemarie faces interactions with them with some level of bravery (which increases as the book goes on). Ellen wants to be an actress when she grows up and she enjoys acting in school plays. Annemarie loves fairy tales, and she recalls them throughout the book. Ellen is Jewish, while Annemarie is Christian. They also differ in their looks. Annemarie is tall with light hair. Ellen is shorter with dark hair. In the end, Annemarie has to be the one who acts so that Ellen and her parents can escape from the Nazis.