Long Trail Press

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Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project

By Jack Mayer

Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project is the true story of three young woman who, despite their own personal tragedies, get together to do a high school history project, only to stumble upon an unexpected shared passion for finding the truth.

With a small amount of information, the aide of the internet and some historical organizations, this trio of young women unearth the often forgotten story of Irena Sendler, a young Polish woman who, during World War II, was responsible for saving the lives of 2,500 Jewish children from the deadly Warsaw Ghetto.

Liz, Megan and Sabrina have been raised in an economically depressed area of Kansas, Missouri and all three have painful issues with their mothers and the feelings of loss and abandonment. When they discover the story of Irena Sendler, each wonders what courage it would take to give up a child to save it from certain death. The compelling story of Sendler spurs the trio into a history project that not only wins an award but evolves into a stage drama, depicting Sendler and her door-to-door plea for the salvation of the children.

Leaving parents to make a heart-breaking decision, Sendler manages to smuggle Jewish children to foster homes, convents, or any place where families will keep them safe and unnoticed until the war is over. The drama is short, deeply dramatic and so powerful that it leaves the audience breathless and shaken. When the resulting project receives publicity, and the girls are able to reach the woman’s son, they find that she is still alive and anxious to meet the young women who have brought her life and heroic deeds to light.

Author Jack Mayer relays a heart-wrenching and deeply moving tale of youth, courage and heroism while also providing an in-depth historical account of the life and courageous acts of Irena Sendler.  Interspersed with a wealth of authentic photos of Ghetto conditions, and of Irena herself, Life in a Jar is a truly inspiring read.

Reviewed by Peggy La Vake for IndieReader