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Publisher's Summary

During World War II, Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker, organized a rescue network of fellow social workers to save 2,500 Jewish children from certain death in the Warsaw ghetto. Incredibly, after the war her heroism, like that of many others, was suppressed by communist Poland and remained virtually unknown for 60 years. Unknown, that is, until three high school girls from an economically depressed, rural school district in southeast Kansas stumbled upon a tantalizing reference to Sendler's rescues, which they fashioned into a history project, a play they called Life in a Jar. Their innocent drama was first seen in Kansas, then the Midwest, then New York, Los Angeles, Montreal and finally Poland, where they elevated Irena Sendler to a national hero, championing her legacy of tolerance and respect for all people.

Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project is a Holocaust history and more. It is the inspirational story of Protestant students from Kansas, each called in her own complex way to the history of a Catholic woman who knocked on Jewish doors in the Warsaw ghetto and, in Sendler's own words, "tried to talk the mothers out of their children".

©2011 Jack Mayer (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A gripping real-life tale of extraordinary courage that had an enduring impact." ( Kirkus)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love of neighbor

One of the most moving accounts of the Holocaust I have ever read and I have read hundreds of books about survivors of the Holocaust. This books is an inspiration of what one person who steps up can do to save the world. Don't ever say, "I am just one person, what can I do".

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • ESB
  • VA, United States
  • 10-29-16

Fantastic Book

This is one of the most uplifting books I have ever read...and I have read a lot. I recommend this to everyone. This is one of my top ten books. Lawlor is likely the best narrator I have listened to. His ability to accurately use tones, accents, and speak in a manner of the subject is impressive...have not heard anyone match him. Makes a good book better.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book almost ruined by a bad narrator

I really loved the story of the Irena Sendler Project and Irena herself. It was compelling, suspenseful, and heartwarming. However, I almost stopped listening because of the narrator. The voices he used for the characters were horrible - he made all of the women sound whiny, those with Polish accents sounded like Boris Badenov (from Bullwinkle), and on and on. I would recommend reading this book - I have a long commute so I stuck with the audiobook version, but I was constantly wincing at the way it was read.

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History that I enjoyed

I enjoyed this historical novel very much. The narrator was a little mellow for some of the emotion that I would have anticipated to have more 'energy' behind it. All in all though, I enjoyed learning about Irena Sedler and her bravery and big heart. Living in KS, I also appreciated hearing of KS student's thirst for knowledge and putting it into motion.

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  • j
  • 08-05-18

a must to be listened to

a true and compelling story!
I couldn't stop listening. this true story should be a must in every highschool

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A Book for everyone

I have never heard of Irena Sendler and because of this book, she will be a person that I will never forget. Life in a Jar should be mandatory reading for every high school student in America. It is one of the best accounts of the Holocaust in Poland but it also gives us a perspective of what it must have been like to live in Poland after the war ended.

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    1 out of 5 stars

Frustrated!!!

This is ridiculous.! I purchased two audio books because I'm sick and my eyesight is comprimised. Neither book will read past frrchapter 1 yet money has been paid. I'm very angry over this

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EXHAUSTING

This story is so amazing but I was utterly exhausted by the inclusion of every tiny research detail and redundant survivor stories. I was so thankful when it was over and frustrated that I didn’t want to recommend it to others because the message was drowned in overkill.

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Irena Sendler Story

An amazing story! I hope the story continues forever and that all students read it and never forget that monster Dictators can enter Americas Government too! DON’T ever let that happen!

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must read, some parts drag on but worth it

too many details on project girls. voice inflections can be anoyning but still a must read

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  • Beata
  • 09-20-17

the need of a heart

Amazing story about extraordinary brave woman and the need of her heart. I strongly recommend it.

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  • miss lj lawley
  • 11-20-15

Life in a Jar - The Irena Sendler story is as I thought it would be an amazingly touching story of many brave people during WWII

A moving story brought about by a history project in Kansas USA. The second part of the story takes you through day to day life of occupied Poland and the daily struggles of the people of Warsaw in particular the segregated Jewish community in the infamous Warsaw Ghetto. I will share this book and its facts with my children so future generations learn from the mistakes made during this awful time. A book about human courage and the need for tolerance. The world needs more people like Irena Sendler.