Jars of Hope: How One Woman Help Save 2500 Children During the Holocaust
Written by Jennifer Roy
Illustrated by Megan Owenson
Age Level: 9 - 12 Grade Level: 1 – 5
Thanks to this book I have two new heroes, Irena Sendler and her father. He died when she was 7, but his words shaped her into the person she became. He said, “There are 2 kinds of people in this world, good and bad. It doesn’t matter if they are rich or poor, what religion or race. What matters is if they are good or bad.” Her dad didn’t just talk. He went into the Jewish neighborhoods and helped.
By the time 1940 rolled around, Irena was working as a social worker, and she went into the Jewish ghettos to help. She remembered her father saying, “When someone is drowwning, give him your hands.” The kids needed the most help so Irena got their families food and medicine, and she talked some of her friends into helping them.
By 1942 Irena saw the Nazi’s sending people to death camps so she started working to get the kids out. Babies were easy. Older children were harder. She gave them new names to practice, along with the Lord’s Prayer. Then she found them new clothes and Christian families who could save them from the death camps. The jars, that’s how she saved the names of the children and their new families. Why? So that after the war their real parents could find their children again.
There’s so much more to this story, including the end papers which tell what happened to Irena after the war, and how the author came to find and tell this story. There are even source notes if you’d like to read more about Irena. She is hero-worthy!