What does Annmarie learn in Number the Stars?

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Annemarie Johansen is the protagonist of Number the Stars. She is a Christian girl living in Denmark during the Second World War. She undoubtedly learns a lot throughout the novel through her experiences and actions, making her a very dynamic character.

When the novel begins, Annemarie is quite innocent. She plays with her friend Ellen and sees the way the presence of the Nazis is impacting her family. She also knows that she must blend in for survival and not draw attention to herself. She begins to lose her innocence when she realizes Ellen, who is Jewish, is in grave danger.

While Annemarie learns quite a bit about the world and who she is throughout the story, I feel she learns about courage and the meaning of friendship the most. When the novel begins, Annemarie blends in to survive, steering clear of any potential issues. This is quite a stark contrast to when she runs into the Nazis in the woods. She stands up to them, thinking of Little Red Riding Hood for bravery. She actively helps protect Jewish people from the Nazis, standing up for what is right even though it puts herself and her family in immense danger.

Annemarie is also a fierce friend to Ellen—more and more so as the book progresses. She actively protects her from the Nazis. In a well-known scene in the book, Annemarie rips Ellen's Star of David necklace off her neck to keep the Nazis from discovering she is Jewish. At the end of the novel, Annemarie still thinks of Ellen and hopes that one day she will return, keeping her Star of David necklace until she can personally return it to Ellen.

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