The girls are best friends in elementary school. They both live in the same apartment building, so they walk to school and back home again together. After school, they also spend much time together. The story is set during World War II, and Ellen is Jewish. It would not be safe for her to be out on the streets alone or after darkwhen Jews were under a curfew. So, the two girls spent time looking at magazines, gossiping, and role playing with the cut outs from the magazines. They frequently spend the night together as best friends of that age do. The friendship deepens when the Jews are being rounded up and Ellen assumes the identity of Annmarie's dead older sister. The Nazis did not know the details of the dead sister, so Ellen was able to pass as Lisle with a little prompting from Annmarie and her family. Later on, Ann Marie saves her best friend's life by a brave act in the face of the Nazis. Ellen's skill at acting helps Annmarie deceive the Nazis.
Annemarie and Ellen share quite a bond. Annemarie is trying to understand what is going on in this particular time period. Meanwhile, Ellen and her family are some of the people having to go through this cruel time. Annemarie and Ellen are like family. They know they can trust eachother. They live in the same apartment building and have known eachother since they were little. Annemarie ended up saving Ellen and her family at the end of the book.
Annemarie and Ellen were best friends. They knew each other since elementary school and lived in the same apartment building. Later in the story Annemarie becomes protective of Ellen when the soliders come to look for the Rosen. Annemarie ends up saving Ellen's life at the end of the story.