was not a promise Irena, nor anyone could make in wartime Poland. She couldn't
even promise that she and the child would make it past the Nazi guards and
beyond the walls of the ghetto that day.
vowed she would risk her life trying.
Yes, she was small, less than five fee tall, and
she readily admitted her full, rosy cheeks made her look younger than
her years. But she had backbone.
young readers edition of Irena's
Children tells the incredible untold story of Irena Sendler--the
woman who took staggering risks to save 2,500 children from death and
deportation in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II—now adapted for a
Irena Sendler was a young Polish woman living in
Warsaw during World War II. With guts of steel, Irena crossed the walled
Jewish ghetto with babies in toolboxes and coffins, snuck them under
overcoats at checkpoints, and slipped them through the dank sewers.
Then she convinced her friends and underground resistance network to
this heroic tale of survival and selflessness, Tilar Mazzeo and adapter
Mary Cronk Farrell share the true story of this bold and brave woman, who
risked her life to save innocent children from the horrors of the
In Jewish belief, there are righteous people in every generation
who can repair a tear in the universe. Irena Sendler was truly one of them.
Born into a comfortable Polish Catholic family, Irena had many
Jewish friends growing up, and they shared idealistic beliefs. When the Germans
invaded Poland and set off World War II, she was determined to assist the
Jewish population in any way possible, especially those in the walled-off
Warsaw ghetto. Carrying necessary papers she was able to enter and leave the
ghetto. She and like-minded Poles rescued as many as 2,500 Jewish children,
carefully recording names and keeping them in a jar (never found). She kept up
her mission even as conditions within the walls became worse, as starvation,
disease, the “murderous brutality” of the German occupying forces, and
deportations to extermination camps grew in intensity. Even arrest, torture,
and a miraculous release from certain death did not stop her. Farrell’s
adaptation of Mazzeo’s adult title (2016) clearly presents her life and the
ever present reality of death in a sobering, heartbreaking narrative.
Readers will understand how Sendler came to be honored by
Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial as one of the Righteous Among the
Nations. (black-and-white photographs, adapter’s note, endnotes not seen) (Biography. 12-18)
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