Life In A Jar

( 29 )

Overview

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 ...

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Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project

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More About This Book

Overview

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 carrying her own painful burden, 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." Inspired by Irena Sendler, they are living examples of the power of one person to change the world and models for young people everywhere.
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60% of the sales of this book are donated to the Irena Sendler/Life in a Jar Foundation. The foundation promotes Irena Sendler's legacy and encourages educators and students to emulate the project by focusing on unsung heroes in history to teach respect and understanding among all people, regardless of race, religion, or creed.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780984111312
  • Publisher: Long Trail Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2011
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 396
  • Sales rank: 38,988
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 11, 2011

    A Heartfelt Story of Courage

    One person can make a difference. This was, and continues to be, Irena Sendler's message to the world, and Jack Mayer's Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project conveys that message in a heartfelt manner that grabs and engages the reader from beginning to end.

    The novel is the story about the Holocaust hero, and the educational and emotional journey for a group of Kansas students and their teacher. The world had not heard of Irena Sendler until the group of students in Bourbon County started a National History Day project. The book is called a "novel" on the cover, but more closely the book is a "non-fiction" novel. The author went to Kansas on two occasions while writing the book, and he also traveled to Poland with the Kansas teens and their teacher, spending time interviewing Irena Sendler and child survivors. Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project is based on the true story of Irena Sendler and the Kansas students who "rescued the rescuer's story for the world."

    Jack Mayer's description of the constant fear and peril of Sendler's rescue of 2,500 children from sure death is vivid; the reader feels transported back to the ghetto as the suspense and difficulty of Irena's missions are described. Moreover, while the story of Irena's acts of bravery and heroism of rescuing children from the Warsaw ghetto is captivating, equally so are the acts of bravery the young women discovered within themselves to overcome personal obstacles in their lives while researching tirelessly to find information on Irena. Megan Stewart had to come to terms with her mother's breast cancer; Sabrina Coons had to come to terms with being part of a military family and frequently relocating; and Liz Cambers had to come to terms with her mother's abandonment when Liz was only five years old. Guiding the girls through their National History Day project and struggles was their history teacher Norm Conard, who with his dedication and encouragement, assisted them in eventually finding Irena. The young women's struggles reveal their vulnerabilities and move the reader to empathize with the teens and celebrate their achievements.

    The meeting in Poland that takes place among Irena, the Kansas teens, and their teacher is nothing short of a miraculous act of fate. The emotions are palpable, and the events leading up to their visit keep the reader captivated. Tears flowed as I read about the love and admiration that were felt between Irena and the teens when they met and about the love and respect between Mr. Conard and Irena herself. The incredible manner in which this true story unfolded underscores the power good still has in this world, as well as the impact people have when they help others.

    Jack Mayer's book begins with the Kansas teens trying to develop their mission of "making a difference and repairing the world" through their National History Day project. By the end of the book, it is obvious they not only accomplished that goal but greatly exceeded it. Through their research about Irena and their close relationship with her, they made, and continue to make, a difference to an innumerable amount of people and ultimately repaired each other's lives. They most certainly will make a difference for anyone who reads their inspiring story.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2011

    Amazing - Highly recommend!

    Life in a Jar is one of those books that you stay up all night reading! It is an amazing story of an unsung hero - Irena Sendler - who risked her life to rescue 2,500 Jewish children during the Holocaust. Amazingly, the story of Irena Sendler might have been lost if not for several high school students from Kansas. Life in a Jar tells the story of how these teens rediscovered Irena and shared her story with the world. This book is truly amazing! Don't miss it!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    Life in a jar

    Outstanding------and once you start you can not put it down !

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2012

    Highly recommended

    This was a great book. It tells the true life story of a real hero. Thank God for people like Irena Sendler.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2011

    A Riveting Read

    Life in a Jar is the story of Holocaust hero Irena Sendler and the Kansas teenagers who worked tirelessly to bring her story to light.

    The book begins in rural Kansas, with three teenage girls (Megan, Sabrina and Liz) are working feverishly on their National History Day project about Irena Sendler, a Polish social worker who saved 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto, but was virtually unknown. As they put together their project--a performance about Sendler's heroic actions--they establish a remarkable correspondence with Sendler, still living in Poland. Irena's letters shed light on the horror of the ghetto and the terrifying logistics of helping the Jewish children escape. The relationship between the girls and Irena flourishes and their performance becomes much more than just a History Day project...

    Mayer intertwines Sendler's story with those of the Kansas girls. Each of them faces a hardship that, with the inspiration of their new hero, they face with a newfound grace and strength. Both stories--though drastically different, emphasize the power that one person has to make a difference and that, as Irena says, "it only takes a little bit of light to counteract the darkness."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2014

    Highly recommended

    Inspiring and moving.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2014

    Best and worst of humanity

    Inspiring story of great risk during not so inspiring times. Story needs to be read and shared.

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  • Posted April 14, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite Life in a Jar:

    Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

    Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project by Jack Mayer is the biography of Irene Sendler who was instrumental in saving the lives of 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. Though her contribution was first suppressed by the Polish government, she was later on elevated to the status of a National Hero for her heroism and work during World War II. The author has captured the moments of life and death that existed during World War II and the Holocaust, which makes the book a disturbing yet compelling read. This true story depicts the goodness that existed in the minds of certain people even during the times of war and strife that took many lives. The book also conveys the message of tolerance and acceptance of other religions and creeds.

    Jack Mayer introduces a hero to readers whose heroic deeds will warm their hearts. It is not often one gets to read about these kinds of human beings who put their lives at stake to save others. Her act of courage and love will touch many. The Irene Sendler/Life in a Jar Foundation promotes the legacy of this great woman and encourages everyone to follow her path of selfless service.

    It is a book that I will recommend all teachers, educators, and students because it conveys the message of how one person can change the world around them with their love and service. A stunning book that touched me. It is a beautiful novel that everyone should read, both for its history and message.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2014

    Highly Recommended-- A must read.

    This is a remarkable story about 3 remarkable high school students and a remarkable woman who saved 1,2oo plus children during WW11 in Poland. Kids now days are not taught much- if anything in school about WW11. Although I highly recommend this book for everyone it should be required in every high school in the USA. We must never forget.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 28, 2014

    A MUST READ Lest we forget..

    A necessary read for everyone because we, as human beings, need to be reminded of the horrors that exist and the courage that people have that makes them fight in spite of the risks to their own being. This is a story about courage, love and a bravery that comes from the power of a persons conviction that what they are doing is the only possible path to take.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2014

    Incredible

    This revealed a side of the holocaust that I wasn't aware of.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2014

    MUST READ BY ALL!!!

    This is a must read by all. I was shocked by how much is still unknown about the Holocaust. This story is so important to continue on. How wonderful that three young ladies from Kansas made this all possible!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2013

    Incredible

    Incredible

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2013

    Amazing!

    Amazing

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    When I was asked to review this book, I hesitated for fear I wou

    When I was asked to review this book, I hesitated for fear I would not give it the praise it so richly deserves.  First of all, I so dislike how in reviewing a book the reviewer will 'tell all' from the first page to the last.  I will not reveal the contents of this wonderful book.  I will only tell you that this is about three Kansas high school students who discover a young woman in Poland who saves 2,500 children from the Nazis and certain death during World War ll.
    I have been an avid reader for more than 30 years.  Without a doubt this is the best book I've ever read.  It is absolutely the best of the very best and if it were possible I would give "Life In a Jar" 10 stars!! 

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  • Posted January 4, 2013

    Great Book

    I would recommend this book to all younger people who have no idea of what the jewish people went through in the early 40's because of the German's.

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    Posted December 10, 2012

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    Posted January 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2013

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