The Story of WWII Humanitarian Irena Sendler

The Story of WWII Humanitarian Irena Sendler


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Irena Sendler, born in 1910 to a Polish Catholic family, was raised to respect all people regardless of their race or religion. As an adult she became a social worker, and after the Germans occupied Poland during World War II, Irena knew she had to help the Jews who were packed into 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, Irena risked her own life to rescue Jewish children and hide them safely in orphanages, convents, and foster homes. Hoping to reunite the families after the war, Irena kept secret lists of the children's identities, which were buried in jars under an apple tree.

Motivated by her humanity and armed with compassion and a belief in human dignity, Irena Sendler proved to the world that an ordinary person can accomplish extraordinary deeds. This new chapter book format includes illustrations as well as sidebars on related subjects, a timeline, a glossary, and recommended reading.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620147917
Publisher: Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Publication date: 06/05/2018
Series: Story Of Series
Pages: 48
Sales rank: 458,426
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

Marcia Vaughan Crews has written numerous books for young readers, including picture books, beginning readers, and both fiction and nonfiction series. She was inspired to tell Irena Sendler's story after reading her obituary in 2008 and discovering more about her through the work of Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project, an organization dedicated to bringing Irena Sendler’s story to the world. Crews lives in Tacoma, Washington.

Ron Mazellan is the illustrator of several award-winning picture books. He is also a professor of art at Indiana Wesleyan University. Mazellan was drawn to this story by Irena Sendler's character and her multiple selfless acts of kindness and courage toward those who had little hope of survival. Mazellan lives in Marion, Indiana.

Table of Contents

A Daughter's Promise 4

Typhus 6

Germany after World War I 8

Occupation 11

The Warsaw Ghetto 15

Irena the Smuggler 18

Concentration and Extermination Camps 22

Escape from the Ghetto 24

Zegota 29

Betrayed 32

The Gestapo 35

Irena's Jars 39

Elzbieta Ficowska 42

Timeline 44

Glossary and Pronunciation Guide 47

Text Sources 54

Sidebar Sources 57

Recommended Further Reading 62

About the Author and Illustrator 64

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