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Life in a Jar

Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
Length: 14 hrs and 26 mins
Categories: History, Europe
4.5 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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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 listeners say about Life in a Jar

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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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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.

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  • minime
  • 26-03-16

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 people found this helpful

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  • ESB
  • 29-10-16

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 people found this helpful

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  • Bena
  • 23-09-19

Saving children's lives during the Holocaust

What is so fascinating is that these high school students did all this research on her life in the late 1990's and the Holocaust museum in Washington DC did not even have this information on her life. We visited the Holocaust museum in Washington DC in November 2018 and I had a marvelous discussion with the clerk in the bookstore about the resources they now had.
Irena Sendler was a social worker during the time Hitler invaded Poland. She would go into the ghetto where the Jews were held and work gained the trust of the parents to take the children to safety knowing the parents would be murdered in a concentration camp. She organized non-Jewish families to take these Jewish children until after the war. She documented all children's parents and families in canning jars and they were buried in her friend's backyard under an apple tree.
There is also a Hallmark movie on her life, THE COURAGEOUS HEART OF IRENA SENDLER. A PBS documentary of her life, IRENA SENDLER IN THE NAME OF THEIR MOTHERS: OUTWITTING THE NAZIS TO SAVE THOUSANDS OF JEWISH CHILDREN.

1 person found this helpful

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  • MDBVT
  • 05-09-18

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • J
  • 29-04-20

Story was wonderful, writing not excellent

The basic story is about a group of students researching and writing a play about Irene Sendler. The story is a good one, but the way the author wrote it seems to be overdramatic at times. I'm not sure why the author chose to constantly describe the female character's physical characteristics, but almost never the males. He may not even realize the prejudice exhibited in the book. Ironically, he does something exactly what the book talks against.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 26-09-19

Amazing story.

Struggled with the horror and sadness but in comparison to those who lived the story my struggle was negligible.

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  • Michael J. Preece
  • 07-09-19

Remarkable book!

Truly inspiring book. Terrifically we’ll write. Best book of my year. Recommend it without reservation.

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  • Prime Shopper
  • 05-08-19

Great book. but Narrator killed it for me

I tried twice listening to this book. and I just couldn't continue. The narrator is so poorly matched with this book. He might do fabulously with other books, but his performance and portrayal of the characters in this book was shallow and rushed. I couldn't feel or align myself with any character. By chapter 4 I felt like I was listening to nails on a chalkboard. I have over 250 books in my library, so I have a bit of experience to pull from. I think this is one book I'm going to purchase old school.and read via print....

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  • Elizabeth Dodd
  • 21-04-19

This book was great!

This book was great, the story and narrator move along well. I enjoyed the characters and how they related to one another.

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  • rich
  • 14-04-19

an exceptional book

what a wonderful book it covered a familiar story but added such new information it was hard to put it down what an amazing story I hope many can enjoy it