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Jars of Hope: How One Woman Helped Save 2,500 Children During the Holocaust
Jars of Hope: How One Woman Helped Save 2,500 Children During the Holocaust
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Reviewed Titles

Jars of Hope: How One Woman Helped Save 2,500 Children During the Holocaust

by Jennifer Roy
Illustrated by Megan Owenson

Amid the horrors of World War II, Irena Sendler was an unlikely and unsung hero. While many people lived in fear of the Nazis, Irena defied them, even though it could have meant her life. This gripping true story of a woman who took it upon herself to help save 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust is not only inspirational—it's unforgettable.

PublisherCapstone Young Readers
Age Level9-12 Years
Reading LevelGrades 3-5
Trim Size9 x 11
Page Count32
Paper Over Board



Kirkus Reviews

"Digital and traditional art in opaque dark browns and grays illustrates the sinister period and shadowy existence of these saved children. . . .A sensitive, discussable access point for children learning about Holocaust history." - Kirkus Reviews

June 15, 2015

Booklist - Maggie Reagan

"Each book in the Encounter: Narrative Nonfiction Picture Books series follows the life and work of a notable woman in history, framing her story in a way that young readers can understand. . . .Though careful not to take too many liberties with a historical text, these read like fiction and will spark the interest of many young readers. Each installment has a different illustrator, giving them all a unique flavor, and all have some sort of back matter that recaps the facts gleaned from the story. They vary somewhat in audience ranges but this is an interesting concept with an effective, highly visual approach." - Booklist

November 15, 2015

Imagination Soup - Melissa Taylor

"This inspiring narrative nonfiction picture book on World War II honors Irena Sendler, a Polish social worker who helps smuggle babies and children out of the ghetto before they’re sent to the camps. . . .I love stories like this, true courage in the risk of great danger." - Imagination Soup

February 17, 2016


A Mighty Girl, "Telling Her Story: 40 New Books for Women’s History Month" - Katherine

"This gripping story of a real-life World War II hero who helped to save 2,500 children from near certain death is sure to inspire young readers." - A Mighty Girl, "Telling Her Story: 40 New Books for Women’s History Month"

March 8, 2016

A Mighty Girl

"The evocative illustrations, created digitally and traditionally drawn, filling this illustrated biography add depth to this moving story while making it more accessible to young readers." - A Mighty Girl

January 1, 2016

YA Book Nerd - Jennifer

"A beautiful inspiring story that tugs at the heartstrings and makes me want to read more about this fascinating woman. Grab it for your library and classroom and share it!" - YA Book Nerd

July 10, 2015


School Library Journal - Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL

"Readers learn from the afterword that Sendler survived the war and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize but that she never considered herself a hero, merely someone doing the right thing. Roy’s text is enhanced by the somber, expressive illustrations, created digitally and traditionally drawn." - School Library Journal

September 1, 2015

New Moon Girls, "Lacey Recommends" - Lacey Louwagie

"History is full of stories about women whose love for people they didn’t even know changed hundreds or even thousands of lives. During World War II, Irena Sendler helped save 2,500 Jewish children from the Holocaust. . . .Meg Owenson’s illustrations will make you feel like you are right there beside Irena as she evades the Nazis and rescues children." - New Moon Girls, "Lacey Recommends"

February 14, 2016

Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews - Heather Lenson, Librarian at the Joseph & Florence Mandel Jewish Day School

"The dialogue is fictionalized but based on actual events. The illustrations are grey and brown hues of oil paint signifying this dark and dangerous period in history. Mary Skinner, the Director and Producer of the PBS documentary “Irena Sendler: In the Name of Their Mothers,” was a content consultant. . . .recommended where there is a demand for illustrated biographies on the subject." - Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews

February 1, 2016


Publishers Weekly

"text and art convey a strong sense of the poor conditions within the ghetto, as well as the dangers faced by Jews and those who tried to help them during WWII." - Publishers Weekly

July 17, 2015

New York Journal of Books - Rita Lorraine Hubbard

"...this book teeters between adventure, stark sadness, and daring, “almost-got-caught” moments that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. . . .Although Jars of Hope is a dark and tragic picture book, Ms. Roy’s prose shines with the ultimate triumph of good over evil. Artist Meg Owenson’s illustrations are detailed and precise, and her talent is not hidden despite the fact that the colors must, by necessity, be much darker than those shared in the typical picture book." - New York Journal of Books

August 3, 2015

Jennifer Roy

Jennifer Roy

Jennifer Roy is the author of the modern classic Yellow Star, the true story of her aunt’s survival during the Holocaust; the award-winning Mindblind about a teen with Asperger’s Syndrome; and the best-selling Trading Faces series co-authored with her twin sister, Julia DeVillers.  Jennifer and her family currently reside in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Go to the Author’s Page →