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Jars of Hope: How One Woman Helped Save…
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Jars of Hope: How One Woman Helped Save 2,500 Children During the…

by Jennifer Roy, Meg Owenson (Illustrator)

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This is Jennifer Roy's second book on the holocaust. Her first was Yellow Star, a story she told in response to hearing of her aunt's experiences in the Lodz Ghetto. The same aunt had written a play on Irena Sendler and later visited her in Poland. Jennifer Roy was again inspired to write a book. Mary Skinner, the director and Producer of the PBS documentary on Irena Sendler consulted on this project. The book has a brief source notes page including Jack Mayer's book Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project and the PBS documentary, Irena Sendler: In the Name of Their Mothers.

The contents are arranged chronologically and each date is paired with a location. Through Irena, the audience learns about discrimination against Jewish people in Poland, Hitler's targeting of Jewish citizens, the erection of ghettos and concentration camps.

The story is driven by an early scene between Irena and her father in which her father tells her, "There are two 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." This message drives the narrative and explains Irena's choices, especially the risks she takes in saving Jewish children from ghettos.

The illustrations look like watercolors and their muted colors convey the desperation and darkness of the time. The artist also plays with light, however, especially toward the end of the book where she begins to brighten the colors and introduce halos or beams of sunlight.

Like, For the Right to Learn, this book includes highlighted key words which connect to a glossary. The author's afterward and notes are intended for student readers and include information about Irena at the end of her life and the fates of some of the children she saved.

I'd not heard Irena's story before this book. It was an inspiring narrative appropriate for students through middle grades. ( )
  jcelliot | Mar 29, 2017 |
Amid the horrors of World War II, Irena Sendler was an unlikely and unsung hero. While many people lived in fear of the Nazis, Irena defied them, even though it could have meant her life. She kept records of the children she helped smuggle away from the Nazis grasp, and when she feared her work might be discovered, she buried her lists in jars, hoping to someday recover them and reunite children with their parents. This gripping true story of a woman who took it upon herself to help save 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust is not only inspirational; it's unforgettable ~Amazon
  Susannahmary89 | Oct 7, 2015 |
My daughter is just at the age where she is learning more deeply about the Holocaust. She asks tons of good questions and like most of us cannot believe that humans can hate and hurt each other with such such heinous intent. Jars of Hope, by Jennifer Roy, is an anecdote to the despair that can overwhelm a child (and adult) in the face of this and provide some hope and understanding that in the midst of such evil there are good and decent people like Irena Sendler, who saved so many children during the Holocaust and beyond. The book tells a fascinating and hard story in clear and simple language with illustrations that support the narrative arc of the story in beautiful detail. The author tells the truth of that time, never understating what happened but also leaves young readers with an example of how it is possible too respond to injustice and hate.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review. Thank you. ( )
  Karen59 | Aug 27, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jennifer Royprimary authorall editionscalculated
Owenson, MegIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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"Tells Irena Sendler's story of saving 2,500 children during the Holocaust"--

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