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Irena Book One: Wartime Ghetto

(Irena #1)

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  217 ratings  ·  66 reviews
The true tale of Irena Sendlerowa, a social worker in the Warsaw ghetto in the early 1940s, during the early days of German occupation. She is credited for saving the lives of 2500 Jewish children by gradually and quietly smuggling them to safety in small groups. While she is eventually arrested by Gestapo, imprisoned, and tortured for her actions, she refuses to reveal ...more
Hardcover, 136 pages
Published August 20th 2019 by Magnetic Press
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Average rating 4.36  · 
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May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Irena Sendler was a Polish woman who saved 2,500 Jewish children from Warsaw ghetto during the Second World War. How plain this sentence sounds compared to what she actually did.

Jean-David Morvan, a French comics author, read an article about Irena Sendler. It inspired him to write a three volume comic, based on her biography. A team joined him: Séverine Tréfouël, David Evrard and Walter. They all deserve standing ovation. You can see that first they felt the story deep in their hearts and then
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, netgalley-2019
Irena is the story of a Polish social worker in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. After seeing the abhorrent conditions the Jews were living in, she creates a network to smuggle children out, ultimately saving over 2,500 children. The book is full of tension filled scenes as the children are smuggled across Nazi checkpoints in various ways. The Peanuts style artwork was a bit odd at first but it worked as a sharp contrast to some of the brutal scenes portrayed. All in all, this was very ...more
*thank you to Netgalley and Diamond Book Distributors for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

4 stars.

Wow. This is such a moving and powerful story of the courage and bravery of one woman during the war. Do not think for a moment that because this is a graphic novel that it's going to be an easy read. Like all War stories, it is just as much a strong read as any other. The illustrations are vivid and don't leave anything out. The truth gets told and shown and it's not a book I
I received this graphic novel from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

I have been interested in WWII stories since I was a little kid, so of course I had to request this graphic novel when I spotted it on Netgalley. A story about a woman who helps out in the ghetto and then decides to also help with saving kids. Holy wow, yes.

The story starts at the very beginning. We see Irena go to the ghetto, a terrible and horrible place, see her hand out food, talk to people, and then especially talk
Enne (they/them)
I'm really not at all sure where to start with reviewing this book. It's sort of a mixture of fiction and non-fiction that I'm really not sure what the actual genre of this book is... I think, more than anything, I really enjoyed how much I learned from this book. I love learning more about history and WWII in Eastern Europe is a time period that I always want to learn more about just because, as someone who's from Russia and who had family involved in WWII, I always want to learn more about ...more
Wayne McCoy
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
'Irena Book One: Wartime Ghetto' by Jean-David Morvan and Severine Trefouel with art by David Evrard is story based on truth about Irena Sedlerowa, a social worker in the Warsaw Ghetto in the early 1940s.

Irena Sendlerowa was a social worker in one of the worst possible places. She tried to battle disease and hunger. When a dying mother gives Irena her son, Irena is not sure what to do. When the child dies, she knows she must do something. She joins a network of people dedicated to smuggling
There is a startling line spoken by one of the women in the warsaw ghetto, that resonates with what is going on in the States, currently, with our insane president.

A yearago, I would never have considered the way we are living as "normal" But everyone seems to accept it now.

We have to make sure what happened, during the holocaust, never happens again. But we have to be aware at how easy it was to boil the frog, changing things bit by bit, until the jews found themselves regulated to living in
While the illustration style takes a bit of getting used to specifically because of the content of the story and the youthfulness of Irena and the rest of the people depicted in the graphic novel, you realize that that this is the true story of one woman, a social worker in the ghetto who removed children a few at a time as her big middle finger to the Reich.

She ultimately was captured and tortured but survived her execution by an underground organization that helped pay off the guards that
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, june-2019
It seemed fitting for me to pick up Irena, as I was in Warsaw on holiday last week, and visited the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto. I have read about Irena Sendler(owa) before, but never in the medium of a graphic novel. Although I found the illustration style a little cartoonish at first, it fitted well with the whole, and the story of wonderful, selfless Sendler has been rendered in an effective and touching way. The use of colour here is great, and I really liked the way in which it moved ...more
Kassy MacPherson
The illustrations were great! It took me a while to read the story because I wanted to study the graphics. The story itself was inspiring. I think overall, this book was great. I enjoyed reading it and will recommend this graphic novel to others. The story itself needs to be told to others. I liked the history pages mixed in as well and the excerpt about her life.
Faith Tydings
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely heartbreakingly beautiful. The illustrations were wonderful and the story was horrifically lovely. It really makes me question who I would be if I were alive during this period. More importantly, how can that question translate to who I am now, during this day and age, and what am I doing to help others!?
Bonnie Arriola
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Everyone should read this!
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A book we need now more than ever.

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Edelweiss. Trigger warning for anti-Semitic violence.)

Irena Sendlerowa (maiden name Krzyżanowska) was born on February 10, 1910 in Warsaw, Poland. She grew up in nearby Otwock, which was home to a large Jewish community. Her father Stanisław was a physician who treated everyone, regardless of their ethnicity or ability to pay. He contracted typhus in the line of duty, and died when Irena was just
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you were just to look at the illustrations of this book and not the story, you might think it will be a happy tale. The illustrations are reminiscent of Charles Schultz and Ziggy. That soft rounded style of cartoon characters, but inside the pages it holds a sad and heartfelt story about a woman who helped rescue kids from the Ghettos of Poland during the war. While Irena was a real person, the tale is told as fiction because the authors admit that there are conflicting “facts” of her story. ...more
Steff Pasciuti
Irenaby Jean-David Morvan and Severine Trefouel was definitely a rough book to read through, though the hardest parts were definitely more toward the end. A graphic novel detailing one woman's determined and exemplary efforts to get children out of concentration camps and to safety during the time of WWII,Irenais one of the most amazing stories from the history of this world. More amazing than all those generals we always hear about and the acts of war that were fought, often because one side ...more
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was provided with an e-ARC of this book through Edelweiss+. Thank you to them and the publisher for letting me read this amazing graphic novel.

Ever since elementary school I've known there were a lot of brave people during World War II who - despite the laws - helped innocent people escape and survive. I've read (sometimes even heard) the stories of some of them during the years, especially on January the 27th, which is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
However, before today, I'd
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing story of a Polish woman who is one of the unsung heroes that risked their lives to save innocent Jewish children who were imprisoned in the Warsaw Ghetto. She was carrying in the work of her father who was a doctor who treated Jewish people even as they were being increasingly targeted. He eventually fell ill and died. Irena honors him by volunteering and fighting for food and medical supplies for those suffering in the ghetto. One day someone approaches her and brings her to ...more
I've been fascinated by Irena Sendlerowa since I first learned about her awhile back. It's hard not to be fascinated by a woman who would risk so much. It's hard not to be fascinated by someone who had the courage to use her role to save thousands of lives. Sendlerowa deserves to have her story told, and the world deserves to know it. The authors here have done an admirable job of ensuring that we are able to learn more about a woman whose legacy is not nearly as in the open as it should be.

J Earl
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Irena Book One: Wartime Ghetto from Jean-David Morvan is a powerful graphic biography of one of World War II's true heroes.

Irena's life was an amazing combination of humble valor and brave compassion. The portion of her life covered by this book should serve as a wake-up call to people today, we need to find it within ourselves to care about all people even while our governments do everything possible to harm and isolate groups of people. We must fight the hate of those in power and those still
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel, 2019
A copy was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I've heard of Irena Sendlerowa's story on multiple occasions throughout the years. Most recently (if over ten years ago can be called "recent") was when she was nominated for a Noble Peace Prize in 2007 and again in 2008. The fact that Al freaking GORE got 2007 year's prize over Irena still makes me very mad.

Irena's story is one of many and many stories of unsung heroes of WWII, regular men and women who risked their lives every
Jaclyn Hillis
Books about the Holocaust are never easy to read, but it is refreshing learning about the amazing people that risked their lives to save others - especially children. Irena was one of those people, and I enjoyed reading her story.

Thank you NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Jennifer Green
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ....

I have heard a lot about this book and was interested in reading it because of the subject matter and the use of a graphic novel format. I wasn't disappointed. I found that the author and artist did a very good job of presenting the story of a woman who did what she felt she needed to do to help children and families during the war, despite all of the risks. She was a brave, strong woman. This book doesn't shy away from the
Irena Sendler is my all-time hero. Her selflessness, dedication, and ability to wholeheartedly stick it to the man makes her such a strong influence and powerful role model. If I was ever in a situation like Irena was, I hope that I would have the courage to make the same choices. We all say that "I wouldn't be on the wrong side" in a historical event, but when pressure and threats are coming at you, how many of us would truly have Irena's resolve and tenacity? She saved hundreds of children and ...more
Becky B
Part one of a graphic novel biography of Irena Sendlerowa, a Polish social worker who smuggled out hundreds of children from the Warsaw ghetto. This book covers how Irena started smuggling children out up until her arrest by the Gestapo.

A moving story of a brave woman who saved hundreds of lives in WWII. This graphic novel really brings Irena to life. It does a good job of giving readers a sense of the gravity of the situations without tons of gory details. The art style is also friendly to
This graphic novel broke my heart. It tells the true story of Irena Sendler who rescued thousands of Jewish children from the ghettoes in Warsaw, Poland. These stories are always shocking, but I think seeing the blood, and pain, and starvation in cute cartoon brings a new starkness to the situation. The illustrator does a brilliant job with color- contrasting what people ate and wore inside and outside of the walls of the Jewish district. The story gives several examples of how Irena and her ...more
Brittany Baker
This only appeared on Edelweiss yesterday, but something about the cover pulled me in and I read it in one sitting this evening. The story is told well, but it's the faces of the characters--especially the children--and the cluttered, hopeless squalor of the Warsaw ghetto that haunt me the most as I write this. I can't imagine the bravery it took for Irena Sendlerowa to smuggle 2,500 Jewish children out of Warsaw, but then again, if seeing illustrated versions of these scared and hungry children ...more
Carla (happiestwhenreading)
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
This is a graphic novel that deserves some attention! It's a true story about Irena Sendlerowa, a social worker in the Warsaw Ghetto during the early days of German occupation. She is credited with saving 2500 Jewish children from the Nazis. Not only is this a great book for young adults, it's equally as good for adults!
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well done historical graphic novel biography about the Polish heroine, Irena Sendlerowa and her circle of friends and family. Chilling depictions of live in the Warsaw ghetto, astonishing rescues. Translated from the french.
Joey Ellis
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Seeing this book in the store was an instant purchase for me. The beautiful artwork delivers the heroic heartbreaking story in a very gentle and approachable way. This book is now one of my all-time favorites and I look forward to reading it again. Highly recommended for middle school readers!
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stunning. "Simple" cartooning makes the wartime horror slightly more palatable yet infinitely more emotional and real. A must-read.
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Jean-David Morvan is a French comic author, best known as the creator of the Sillage/Wake series.

After studying arts at the Institut Saint-Luc in Brussels, he first tried being a graphic artist, but eventually settled for writing instead.

His main series are 'Spirou and Fantasio', 'Sir Pyle' and 'Merlin', all with José Luis Munuera, and 'Sillage', with Philippe Buchet.

Other books in the series

Irena (4 books)
  • Irena (Les Justes, #2)
  • Varso-Vie (Irena #3)
  • Irena tome 4 : Je suis fier de toi (Irena, #4)