Project Description

Teacher’s Guide

The Yellow Star

The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark

by Carmen Agra Deedy
illustrated by Henri Sorensen

Without the yellow star to point them out, the Jews looked like any other Danes.

For centuries, the Star of David was a symbol of Jewish pride. But during World War II, Nazis used the star to segregate and terrorize the Jewish people. Except in Denmark. When Nazi soldiers occupied his country, King Christian X of Denmark committed himself to keeping all Danes safe from harm, and the bravery of the Danes and their king during that dangerous time has inspired many legends. The most enduring is the legend of the yellow star, which symbolizes the loyalty and fearless spirit of the king and his people.

New York Times best-selling author and storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy has poignantly recreated this legend, which is accompanied by Danish illustrator Henri Sørensen’s arresting full-color portraits. The result is a powerful and dignified story of heroic justice, a story for all people and all times. For more details about the Nazi occupation of Denmark during World War II and the Danish resistance movement, please click here.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $17.99
ISBN: 978-1-56145-208-8
Publication Date: 9/1/2000
Page Count: 32
Size: 9-1/2″ x 11″
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English
Price: $8.99
ISBN: 978-1-68263-189-8
Publication Date: 2/1/2020
Page Count: 32
Size: 9-1/2″ x 11″
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English
AR Level: 3.7
F&P: GRL S, Gr 4, Genre HF
Lexile: AD550L
BISAC 1: JUV039120 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Prejudice & Racism
BISAC 2: JUV016080 JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / Military & Wars
BISAC 3: JUV022000 JUVENILE FICTION / Legends, Myths, Fables / General


“Interesting and thought-provoking” ―School Library Journal

“Professional storyteller Deedy retells this legend in unadorned, effective language that lends currency to history…. The spare but resonant storytelling is given an authoritative setting in Danish illustrator Sorensen’s paintings; his formal style and balanced compositions reinforce the mood and dignity of the story…. this tale will find heavy use as a readaloud and discussion starter, whether the topic is truth, history, heroism, or moral dilemmas.” ―Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books

“The book was written for elementary students as an introduction to the Nazi occupation of Denmark during World War II. The book is based on a legend, but more interesting are the true facts about Denmark during the war. Be sure to read the Author’s Note at the end of the book.” ―ACS Readers Haven

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“Delightful… a perfect introduction for young readers to the difficult story of the Holocaust. The story is surprisingly moving because it is told so simply…. suspenseful and inspiring…. and excellent addition to the many recent books on tolerance and human rights.” ―Five Owls

“A beautiful and moving tale about one of the few glimmers of humanity to emerge from the Holocaust…it reminds us all of the power of the individual against injustice as well as the lasting effects of kindness” ―Herreras

“An excellent book for teachers, librarians and children to add to their bookshelf” ―It’s About Time MaMaw

“I loved this picture book. The story is simple, yet powerful. The message of peace and unity is very clear… I would call this a “5 star” book.” ―Maestra-Amanda

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Bologna Ragazzi Award for Children’s Non-Fiction – Bologna Fiere, Children’s Book Fair, 2001

Christopher Award (Books for Young People) – Christophers, 2001

Jane Addams Peace Prize (Honor Book) – Jane Addams Peace Association, 2003

ABC Children’s Booksellers’ Choices (Non-fiction) – Association of Booksellers for Children, 2001

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Children’s Booksellers’ Choices – Association of Booksellers for Children, 2001

Notable Books for a Global Society – International Reading Association, 2001

Teachers’ Choices (Intermediate) – International Reading Association, 2001

Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People (Selector’s Choice) – National Council for the Social Studies, Children’s Book Council, 2001

Wow! Award – National Literacy Association, 2002

Parents’ Choice Gold Award – Parents’ Choice Foundation, 2000

Children’s Literature Choice List (Short Books) – Children’s Literature, 2001

Children’s Books Mean Business – American Booksellers Association, Children’s Book Council Joint Committee, 2001, 2003

Texas Bluebonnet Award (Master List) – Texas Library Association, 2002-2003

California Young Reader Medal (Nominee, Picture Book for Older Readers) – California Reading Association, CLA, CATE, CSLA, 2003-2004

Children’s Book Award (Nominee) – Florida Reading Association, 2002-2003

Georgia Children’s Picture Storybook Award (Nominee) – University of Georgia, 2005-2006

Great Lakes’ Great Books Award (Nominee, Grades 4-5) – Michigan Reading Association, 2003

Land of Enchantment Book Awards (Children’s Master List) – New Mexico Library Association, New Mexico Council of IRA, 2003-2004

Prairie Pasque Children’s Book Award (Nominee) – South Dakota Library Association, South Dakota Reading Council, South Dakota State Library, South Dakota Elementary School Principals, 2002-2003

Best Bets for the Classroom (Picture Books) – Virginia Center for the Book, 2000

Book Sense 76 – Book Sense, 2001

Book Sense 76 (Children’s, Young Readers) – Book Sense, 2001

Children’s Media Award – Parent’s Guide to Children’s Media, Inc., 2000

Notable Children’s Books of Jewish Content: the Best of the Bunch (Older Readers) – Association of Jewish Libraries, 2000

Read Alouds too Good to Miss ―AIME, 2001

Storytelling World Resource Awards (Winner, Stories for Adolescent Listeners) – Storytelling World, 2001

Living the Dream Children’s Book Award (Nominee) – Manhattan Country School, 2002

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Meet the Author

Carmen Agra Deedy, a New York Times bestselling author, has been writing and traveling around the world telling stories for more than twenty years. Her books have received numerous awards and honors. Carmen has performed in many prestigious venues, but children are her favorite audience. Born in Havana, Cuba, she came to the United States as a refugee and like most immigrants sees the world from multiple perspectives. She lives in Georgia. You can visit her website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Henri Sorensen has illustrated over twenty books for children, including The Yellow Star, The Printer, and Christmas in the Trenches. He is also the author-illustrator of two children’s books, New Hope and Your First Step. Sorensen lives in Denmark.