What is the climax of Number the Stars?

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Number the Stars is a book about the Danish resistance to the Nazi occupation of their country during World War II and how the people of Denmark defied the Nazis by trying to hide the Jewish people and then smuggling them to Sweden. The climax of the book occurs when Annemarie needs to take a basket to her Uncle Henrik who is trying to smuggle Jews to Sweden. Inside the basket was a packet that contained a handkerchief with a scent that dulled the sense of smell of dogs along with some food and a napkin. As Annemarie is going to deliver the basket to her uncle, a group of soldiers and their dogs stops her to find out what she is doing. The soldiers don’t believe her story about taking lunch to her uncle. They took some of the food and opened the envelope with the handkerchief, but they eventually let her continue on the path to see her uncle with the handkerchief still in the basket. Uncle Henrik used the handkerchief just a short time later when dogs came to smell the boat the contained the Jews that were being smuggled to Sweden. The dogs didn’t discover the Jews in the boat because they had sniffed the scented handkerchief causing their sense of smell to be dulled.

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Lois Lowry's work of historical fiction, Number the Stars, follows the story of Annemarie Johansen, who puts her life at stake to rescue her Jewish best friend, Ellen Rosen, from being sent to a concentration camp. Ellen hides from Nazi forces searching for Danish Jews by hiding her identity and pretending to be Lise, the deceased older sister of Annemarie.

The climax of the novel occurs when Annemarie is tasked with delivering a very important packet for the Resistance to her Uncle Henrik. As Annemarie walks on the path to the harbor, she is confronted by four Nazi soldiers with snarling dogs. Annemarie pretends she is taking food to Henrik, but the soldiers do not believe her, tearing apart her basket of food and opening the Resistance's envelope to reveal a simple handkerchief. Annemarie is eventually released and successfully delivers the handkerchief (which turns out to contain a scent that will distract search dogs from discovering Jews hidden in the boat in the harbor) to her uncle.

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