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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 sixty 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."
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Jack Mayer is a pediatrician and a writer. In 1991 he established Rainbow Pediatrics in Middlebury, Vermont, where he continues to practice primary care pediatrics. He is an instructor in pediatrics at the University of Vermont School of Medicine and an adviser for premedical students at Middlebury College.
Patrick Lawlor has recorded over three hundred audiobooks in just about every genre. He has been an Audie Award finalist multiple times and has garnered several AudioFile Earphones Awards, a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award, and many Library Journal and Kirkus starred audio reviews.
Gr 7 Up-Mayer recounts the inspiring story of Irena Sendler, the Catholic Polish social worker who organized a rescue network to hide 2,500 Jewish children during the Holocaust, and frames it with a present-day story of three Protestant teens in Kansas creating a National History Project play about her life. Sendler's own life history is dramatic and inspiring; she was brutally tortured by the Nazis in the infamous Pawiak prison, and her extraordinary good work during the war was suppressed by communist Poland and remained virtually unknown for 60 years. Narrator Patrick Lawlor does an excellent job conveying the suspense and tension in Sendler's life. Lawlor's voice lends the right emotion and inflection to each character. He realistically re-creates the distinguishing inflections of each generation as the American teens travel to Poland to interview survivors and meet Irena Sendler herself. VERDICT This work's emphasis on survival and rescue will appeal to both adult and teen listeners.-Ellen Frank Bayer, Flushing High School, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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