Irena’s Children: A True Story of Courage, written by Tilar J. Mazzeo and published in 2016 by Gallery Books, Trifecta Creative Holdings, Inc, is a harrowing story of secrecy, sacrifice, bravery, and love in a time of war. This book falls under the biography and WWII genres.
Irena’s Children tells the tale of a heroic woman named Irena Sendler who organized the rescue of over 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto during the German occupation. Working closely with her old college friends, Irena smuggled babies in handbags and older children through the sewage systems, changed their names and identities, then found them new homes either in orphanages or Polish foster families willing to risk their lives and those of their family to help save these Jewish children. Read as Irena and her band of fighters save children, smuggle food and medicine into the Ghetto, stage resistance battles, and narrowly escape arrest. Sometimes, however; their operations didn’t always go as planned, and more than one brave soul lost their life for freedom.
I would highly recommend this book for ages 16+. It’s a well-written, fascinating biography written more like a novel than a history book. There is quite a bit of violence to be on guard for, as well as a few mature themes and some mild profanity. I highly enjoyed reading this book-it’s easily one of my favorite WWII biographies, with accurate representation of the facts and respect for both sides of the struggle. All in all, a masterful book about the German occupation of Warsaw and the horrors, and bravery, that resulted from it. 4.5 out of 5 stars.