Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project by Jack Mayer is a powerful story of the Holocaust and more. First, it is the story of the extraordinary Irena Sendler, the. Life in a Jar has ratings and reviews. Katie said: It’s always a beautiful thing to behold when a teacher inspires his or her students to overc. Life in a Jar The Irena Sendler Project. by Jack Mayer. During World War II, Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker, organized a rescue network of fellow.

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Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Life in a Jar by Jack Mayer. Life in a Live During World War II, Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker, organized a rescue network of fellow social workers to save 2, 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 sch During World Senrler II, Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker, organized a rescue network of fellow social workers to save 2, Jewish children sendper certain death in the Warsaw senlder. 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 thw and respect for all people.

The Irena Sendler Project is a Holocaust history and more. It is the inspirational story of Protestant students from Kansas, each carrying her own painful burden, each called in her own complex way to the history of a Catholic woman who liff on Jewish doors in the Warsaw ghetto and, in Sendler’s own words, “tried to talk the mothers out of their children.

The foundation promotes Irena Sendler’s legacy and encourages educators and students to emulate the project by focusing on unsung pproject in history to teach respect and understanding among all people, regardless of race, religion, or creed. Paperbackpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about Life in a Jarplease sign up. Robin I’d say older young adult. See all 3 questions about Life in a Jar…. Lists with This Book. Jul 10, Katie rated it it was amazing. It’s always a beautiful thing to behold when a teacher inspires his or her students to overcome crippling obstacles and exalt in academic discovery and what perhaps I loved most tue this extremely moving book was this theme. We never quite know who we are until we’re inspired and if we’re lucky enough to find an individual who provides this inspiration then the content of beauty in our lives is increased tenfold.

Liz Cambers is in 6th grade and a notorious troublemaker at school. Surly prroject solitary and contemptuous of learning.

Her mother abandoned her when she was five and her father couldn’t cope with his responsibilities. She lives with her grandfather. Then, one day, her life changes. To escape a teacher with whom she shares a mutual loathing she enrols in a new class, Creative Social Studies.


Her new teacher Mr Conard tells the class they all have to research and compose a National History day project. The theme is turning points in history.

‘Life in a Jar’ Book – Life in a Jar

Liz looks through the files of ideas prepared for the class and comes across one called “The other Schindlers. Because Liz is haunted by her own mother’s abandonment of her, lief interest is piqued as perhaps it has never before been by any academic assignment. However, when she googles Irena Sendler there’s only one brief internet hit. She finds it hard to believe that a woman who lifs to the file saved 2, children from the gas chambers is virtually unknown in the world.

Even her teacher agrees it might be a typo in the file and perhaps she only saved children. Later, he hands her the telephone number of the Jewish Foundation of the Righteous, the organisation responsible tne the one internet article.

Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project by Jack Mayer

Liz, riddled with social insecurities, is terrified of making the call. She’s relieved when she gets voice mail. Her teacher tells her about the film Schindler’s List but says he can’t recommend she watches it as it’s R rated.

She asks her grandfather if she can watch it. He agrees but says he won’t join her because those kind of films upset him. Liz breaks down in tears during the final scene when all the many relatives of people Schindler saved lay stones on his grave.

It’s the first time srndler has cried cleansing tears since her mother abandoned her. Then she realises Irena Sendler’s story is even more remarkable.

Unlike Schindler, she never had anything to gain but everything to lose by helping Jews. Liz jxr now committed. She is joined by two other students in the project which she initially resents. A goody two shoes called Megan who is deeply religious and a girl from a very poor background called Sabina.

Liz has to begin overcoming her social insecurities. Before long they discover the reason why no one has heard of Irena Sendler is because the Soviet iirena in Poland after the war arrested or killed members of the Polish underground who opposed the Nazis.

To sing Irena’s praises would have put her in mortal danger. As they gather more lifd, little by little, they decide to write and perform a short dramatization of Irena’s life. Then Megan’s mother contracts cancer. The second part of this book is a pronect of Irena Sendler’s wartime experiences.

I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll just say it was gripping and moving stuff. The third part is the story of how the girl’s dramatization of Irena Sendler’s life rocked the world. Again I don’t want to spoil.

I lost count of how many times this book moved me to tears. However, for me it was a crying shame the book began to drag on towards the end. It should have been a book about the three original students, their teacher and Irena. Instead it becomes about the project itself which new students join when the three original girls begin to take a backseat. It’s like the author doesn’t want send,er finish it and writes fifty odd pages jae begin undermining the brilliant job he had done previously of narrating this story.

The author seems to be under the misconception that the book is about the project. For me the book was about the life-transforming inspiration one individual can impart to others.


In many ways the stories of Liz, Megan kife Sabina, overseen by a brilliant teacher, were as moving as the story of Irena herself. View all 16 comments. Mar 12, Beth Pearson rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is one of those “Important Books” that reminds me that most of what I read is total fluff and senndler of precious time.

Not that I am going to stop reading my drivel but just a reminder that there are amazing people, things, lives out there that I know nothing about. While this is a true story set among Poland during the holocaust, it is not a depressing book.

At least not to me, who already has read, learned, and thought a lot about that time in history so the facts and statistics were no This is one of those “Important Books” that reminds me that most of what I read is total fluff idena unworthy of precious time. At least lfie to me, who already has read, learned, and thought a lot about projdct time in history so the facts and statistics were not new.

Still shocking to think about, but not new.

Buy for others

Instead of discouraging, this book is incredibly uplifting and eye opening of the goodness of people, the miracles of God, and the importance of standing for truth and righteousness, even in a world gone mad. Irena Sendler is a Polish Christian woman who smuggled Jewish children out of the ghetto to live with Gentile families in other areas. Her story was largely unknown until 3 high school kids in Kansas started researching her for a history project.

The students asked the kind of questions I wanted to know too.

How does a parent give a child away to a total stranger? What gave Irena the courage to get involved in such a thing? What would I have done? What would my children do if they lived in such a world? The answers iar these questions are poignant and very personal.

Life in a Jar

The book doesn’t focus on the staggering statistics, but instead on the indidual stories of one. One person, one family, one household I loved the details. I liked the way the author shows the noose tightening ever so slowly against the Jews I thought about that quote I’ve heard attributed to Thomas Jefferson, usually used when discussing post Americans and their willingness to give up civil rights in the hopes of avoiding another terrorist attack.

Something about “a society that will give up their freedom for security will lose their freedom and deserve neither”. At the same projdct I was reading this book, I saw a quote again from a holocaust museaum in Germany: Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was sendle a trade unionist. Then they lfie for the Jews and I did not speak out because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me. Are we on our own frige of sitting back waiting until our lives are controlled by the government also?

The Irena Sendler story was great. I loved the stories of the students as they researched and aa on their project too.