Irena Sendler, born to a Polish Catholic family, was raised to respect people of all backgrounds and to help those in need. She became a social worker; and after the German army occupied Poland during World War II, Irena knew she had to help the sick and starving Jews who were imprisoned in the Warsaw Ghetto.Read more...
Irena Sendler, born to a Polish Catholic family, was raised to respect people of all backgrounds and to help those in need. She became a social worker; and after the German army occupied Poland during World War II, Irena knew she had to help the sick and starving Jews who were imprisoned in the Warsaw Ghetto. She began by smuggling food, clothing, and medicine into the ghetto, then turned to smuggling children out of the ghetto. Using false papers and creative means of escape, and at great personal risk, Irena helped rescue Jewish children and hide them in safe surroundings during the Holocaust. Hoping to reunite the children with their families after the war, Irena kept secret lists of the children's identities.
Motivated by conscience and armed with compassion and a belief in human dignity, Irena Sendler confronted an enormous moral challenge and proved to the world that an ordinary person can accomplish deeds of extraordinary courage.
- ISBN-13: 9781600604393
- ISBN-10: 1600604390
- Publisher: Lee & Low Books
- Publish Date: November 2011
- Reading Level: Ages 8-UP
- Dimensions: 0.5 x 11.25 x 9.25 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.02 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-08-22
- Reviewer: Staff
Irena Sendler (1910–2008) was a Polish Catholic social worker who, as a member of the Polish underground organization Zegota, smuggled some 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw ghetto and arranged for them to live out the war with new identities in orphanages, convents, and foster homes. Hoping to reunite the families after the war, she kept lists of the children’s original identities, which she buried in jars under an apple tree. “As more children were rescued, Irena dug up the jars, added their names to the lists, and buried the jars again,” writes Vaughan (Up the Learning Tree). Sendler was ingenious, ushering her young charges to safety by hiding them in “baskets, boxes, tool chests, sacks, and suitcases” and even under the floorboards of an ambulance. And she was fearless, refusing even under torture and the threat of death to reveal the children’s whereabouts. Vaughan and Mazellan (You Can Be a Friend) have created a fine piece of historical storytelling, with brisk, reportorial prose and shadowy, impressionistic oil paintings that offer gripping testimony to the full horror and high stakes of the times. Ages 6–11. (Oct.)