I Need A Review/Feedback on This Book

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

This book has been chosen for our library’s book club for grades 3-5. I have not read it and my daughter would have to jump right into reading it before I would have a good chance to read it first. I am a little concerned about the weight of the subject matter for an 8 year old. Amazon rates it as suggested for 10 years and up and most reviews indicate it used in middle school. Has anyone had experience with this for their middle elementary child? She would be reading this and then spending an hour in discussion with 20 to 30 3rd to 5th graders, and that discussion will not be parent led/supervised, it will be supervised by the librarian who is leading the group. I’d love some feedback here if you’ve read this book with an 8 year old child or a similar age range. I did see one review on Amazon from someone who read this aloud to their 6 and 8 year old children and they thought it was okay. But I’d still like a little more to go on. Thanks in advance for any advice!

(I also thought this topic might be a good one to start in case others have book reviews they need for books they are considering and can post them here. If anyone can think of a better way to start a topic like this feel free to close this one out–I just thought this might work for now. :slightly_smiling: )

I haven’t read this book since my college days for Children’s Literature so I can’t speak exactly to its content but I wanted to give input on a similar book that may help you in your decision.

A couple months ago my 8 year old daughter checked out a Who was…Anne Frank biography from the library. I thought it would be fine since they are written specifically for children but I discussed it briefly with her (at a very appropriate level for her age) just so she wasn’t reading it without any of my input/frame of reference about what went on. Well sure enough a night or two later she had nightmares about what she had read.

All that to say…it really just depends on your child…for my daughter I think 8 just ended up being a little too young to introduce the topic of the Holocaust- regardless of how “gentle” the introduction was…but your daughter or someone else’s child may be fine.

I hope some others can chime in with some specifics from Number the Stars in time for you to make your decision! Good luck!


First of all, this is an AMAZING BOOK. It was one of my favorites when I was in elementary school. I read it when I was in 4th grade. There are a few scary parts in the book, but it is, for the most part a gentle introduction to the horrors of WWII. I was a little bit older then your daughter, however, I was 9 / 10 years old.

Think about your daughter too, is she more sensitive? Do these kinds of subjects bother her? Or does she find them informative, or exciting? If she is a more sensitive type, then I think I might hold off on the book until she was a little bit older.


Thank you SO much @alimaree and @sgrrrbear for you very helpful advice! I think you both helped to confirm for my husband and I that our daughter is still a bit young for the content of this book. And it’s not so much the content of the book alone but also what might come up in the hour-long discussion with a group of children up to two years older than her as well about the topic. I really felt in my heart it was just too mature of a topic for her at this age yet, but I really wanted to get some good advice from other mothers like you and I appreciate it so much! I did, however, check the book out of our library and I am going to read it myself so that I will know the content in case we want to use it a few years from now for our own studies.

I also took into consideration the fact that my daughter tends to share everything she learns with her 6 year old brother and doesn’t know when to censor that information based on what is too much for him! We had a bad experience with this based on an American Girl book of all things once when the topic dealt with orphans and our 6 year old son was nearly traumatized based on his 8 year old sister’s retelling in too much detail! :frowning: We’ve talked with her about doing this but I think she still likes to be “in the know” and share those things with him as the wiser older sibling! :unamused:

So, again, thank you both! I appreciate you taking the time to leave your advice!!