Mazzeo, Tilar. Irena's Children: The Extraordinary Story of the Woman Who Saved 2,500 Children from the Warsaw Ghetto
LJ Reviews 2016 August #1
Irena Sendler (1910–2008), a Polish student and social worker, with courage and the collaboration of other brave individuals, saved thousands of Jewish children during World War II. Beginning with small acts of resistance, Sendler eventually was smuggling babies and young children out of the Warsaw ghetto in coffins, toolboxes, and bags left on train cars. Led by Sendler and others in her network, the children were housed in safe places where their identities were changed. Mazzeo (English, Colby Coll.; The Widow Clicquot) explains how Sendler documented the children's new names on scraps of paper with the hope that these lists would someday reunite them with their families. Sadly, few parents survived the war. The actions of Sendler and other Polish residents who bravely protected Jewish children were often overlooked. It wasn't until the 1990s that these acts of courage began to receive their due. VERDICT Sendler risked her life and the lives of her coworkers, friends, and family to help others. This account of tremendous bravery is recommended for teens and adults who are drawn to inspirational stories. [See Prepub Alert, 3/21/16.]—Beth Dalton, Littleton, CO[Page 107]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PW Reviews 2016 August #3
Mazzeo (The Hotel on Place Vendome), associate professor of English at Colby College, profiles the little-known Irena Sendler, a young Polish social worker dubbed "the female Schindler" for her work smuggling Jewish children out of Warsaw during WWII. Sendler headed a network, and later an organization (Z?egota), that found more than 2,000 children places of refuge among families and in convents, saving them from deportation and death. Mazzeo shows the variety of strategies and ruses Sendler and her allies used to snatch Jewish children to safety, including setting up a medical station at the collection center for deportation; the intense debates over whether convents sheltering Jewish children had the right to baptize them; and how Sendler survived arrest, torture, and near execution. Sendler's personal life also receives attention, including her affair with Adam Cenikier, a Jewish social revolutionary and fellow resistance fighter. Mazzeo's writing is largely clear, though she is occasionally sketchy with details, as when noting without elaborating that American Jews helped fund Z?egota. While this is not the first biography of Sendler, its succinctness and overall readability will introduce many readers to a truly brave and otherwise remarkable woman who initiated and spearheaded "a vast collective effort of decency." (Oct.)[Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC