What happens in Chapter 9 of Number the Stars?

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teachsuccess | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Hello! You asked about Lois Lowry's book 'Number The Stars.' Chapter 9 tells us that Mrs. Johansen has brought Annemarie, Kirsti and Ellen to stay at her brother's (Henrik) house for a few days. In previous chapters, we find out that Ellen comes to stay with the Johansen's for her own safety. She is to act as the third daughter of the house. When the German soldiers demand evidence that Ellen is actually a Johansen, Mr. Johansen tears out three baby pictures of his daughters. Luckily, Lise (who passed away just before her marriage) has the same brown hair as Ellen. But, it is a close shave, and that is why the girls are at Henrik's.

In Chapter 9, Annemarie hears her Uncle Henrik say that their Great Aunt Birte has passed away and that there is to be a funeral at the house. She knows that there is no such person in their family and is immediately suspicious. She confronts her Uncle Henrik in the barn and in response, he asks her how brave she is. She answers that she doesn't think she is very brave. He disagrees and assures her that she is like her mother and will be as brave as she needs to be. He acknowledges that he lied to her about Great Aunt Birte but tells her he can't tell her the truth for her own protection and that it is often easier to be brave when one does not know everything.

Annemarie herself has to lie to Ellen for Ellen's protection. She realizes that sometimes extraordinary circumstances call for extreme measures. She helps to prepare food in the kitchen but wonders why they have to make so much food. Usually, it is friends who bring the food to the bereaved family. When she locks eyes with her mother, Mrs. Johansen knows that her daughter realizes that Great Aunt Birte is a made up relative. Annemarie comforts herself after Uncle Henrik tells her that he and Mrs. Johansen do not know everything either. She knows that everyone is trying to be brave. Soon, more people arrive at the house for the 'funeral.' Henrik takes Ellen out to meet some of the people. Eventually, Ellen comes in, along with her parents, and Peter.

Hope this helps. Thanks for the question!

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