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The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story

by

The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story Cover

ISBN13: 9780393333060
ISBN10: 039333306x
Condition: Underlined
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When Germany invaded Poland, Stuka bombers devastated Warsaw--and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into empty cages. Another dozen "guests" hid inside the Zabinskis' villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing, and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts. Jan, active in the polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital. Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitants--otters, a badger, hyena pups, lynxes.

With her exuberant prose and exquisite sensitivity to the natural world, Diane Ackerman engages us viscerally in the lives of the zoo animals, their keepers, and their hidden visitors. She shows us how Antonina refused to give in to the penetrating fear of discovery, keeping alive an atmosphere of play and innocence even as Europe crumbled around her.

Review:

"'Ackerman (A Natural History of the Senses) tells the remarkable WWII story of Jan Zabinski, the director of the Warsaw Zoo, and his wife, Antonina, who, with courage and coolheaded ingenuity, sheltered 300 Jews as well as Polish resisters in their villa and in animal cages and sheds. Using Antonina's diaries, other contemporary sources and her own research in Poland, Ackerman takes us into the Warsaw ghetto and the 1943 Jewish uprising and also describes the Poles' revolt against the Nazi occupiers in 1944. She introduces us to such varied figures as Lutz Heck, the duplicitous head of the Berlin zoo; Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira, spiritual head of the ghetto; and the leaders of Zegota, the Polish organization that rescued Jews. Ackerman reveals other rescuers, like Dr. Mada Walter, who helped many Jews 'pass,' giving 'lessons on how to appear Aryan and not attract notice.' Ackerman's writing is viscerally evocative, as in her description of the effects of the German bombing of the zoo area: '...the sky broke open and whistling fire hurtled down, cages exploded, moats rained upward, iron bars squealed as they wrenched apart.' This suspenseful beautifully crafted story deserves a wide readership. 8 pages of illus. (Sept.)' Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)"

Review:

"[A] shining book beyond category....[A] book to read and reread and give to others." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"With its biblical allusions, cuddly characters and well-covered historical subject matter, The Zookeeper's Wife might have been a gamble, had anyone else but Diane Ackerman tackled it." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"[An] absorbing book." New York Times

Review:

"Ackerman has done an invaluable service in bringing a little-known story of heroism and compassion to light. Highly recommended." Library Journal

Synopsis:

A true story "as powerful as Schindler's List" in which the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands.

Synopsis:

2008 Orion Book Award

The New York Times bestseller: a true story in which the keepers of the Warsaw zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands.

About the Author

Diane Ackerman is the author of the best-selling A Natural History of the Senses, among many other books. She lives in upstate New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

5095287306, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by 5095287306)
The story centers on Jan and Antonina Zabiniski--keepers of the Warsaw Zoo who sheltered Jews from the Warsaw ghetto. Ackerman weaves the Zabiniski's experiences and reflections so flawlessly into the story that it would be easy to read the book as Antonina's own extraordinary memoir. Ackerman uses Antonina’s diaries, and interviews with people who knew her to illustrate the true tragedy of the time. A definite "must" read.
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rlindholtz, August 6, 2012 (view all comments by rlindholtz)
This book is an amazing true story of human strength and resilience in the midst of the horror of WW11.
The capacity of humans to see the right thing to do and then sacrifice all to do it is uplifting.
I cannot encourage you enough to read this book. The writing is engaging from the first sentence.
Diane Ackerman is a brilliant story teller and weaves many tales together to a very satisfying conclusion.
One feels like she has heard "the rest of the story." Feel good about the human race again: read this book!
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crabby McCrabberton, January 8, 2012 (view all comments by crabby McCrabberton)
This story is an excellent telling of how life was like in Poland during WWII. I like how the author intwerwove exerpts from the diary into the story. It is a history lesson, but done in such a way you don't feel like you have been reading history. I loaned it to a friend who then looked up the physician who went with the children and read his biography after reading The Zookeepers Wife. Excellent. I listened to the audio of this book and it was excellent.
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View all 5 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393333060
Subtitle:
A War Story
Author:
Ackerman, Diane
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Subject:
Holocaust
Subject:
Eastern Europe - Poland
Subject:
Military - World War II
Subject:
Europe - Eastern
Subject:
Righteous gentiles in the holocaust
Subject:
Ethnic relations
Subject:
Zabinski, Jan
Subject:
Zabinska, Antonina
Subject:
World History-Holocaust
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20080931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
8.3 x 5.5 x 1 in 0.68 lb

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » Bestsellers
Featured Titles » World Book Night 2014
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » Europe » General
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » General
History and Social Science » World History » Eastern Europe
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Holocaust
Religion » Judaism » Holocaust

The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 384 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393333060 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'Ackerman (A Natural History of the Senses) tells the remarkable WWII story of Jan Zabinski, the director of the Warsaw Zoo, and his wife, Antonina, who, with courage and coolheaded ingenuity, sheltered 300 Jews as well as Polish resisters in their villa and in animal cages and sheds. Using Antonina's diaries, other contemporary sources and her own research in Poland, Ackerman takes us into the Warsaw ghetto and the 1943 Jewish uprising and also describes the Poles' revolt against the Nazi occupiers in 1944. She introduces us to such varied figures as Lutz Heck, the duplicitous head of the Berlin zoo; Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira, spiritual head of the ghetto; and the leaders of Zegota, the Polish organization that rescued Jews. Ackerman reveals other rescuers, like Dr. Mada Walter, who helped many Jews 'pass,' giving 'lessons on how to appear Aryan and not attract notice.' Ackerman's writing is viscerally evocative, as in her description of the effects of the German bombing of the zoo area: '...the sky broke open and whistling fire hurtled down, cages exploded, moats rained upward, iron bars squealed as they wrenched apart.' This suspenseful beautifully crafted story deserves a wide readership. 8 pages of illus. (Sept.)' Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)"
"Review" by , "[A] shining book beyond category....[A] book to read and reread and give to others."
"Review" by , "With its biblical allusions, cuddly characters and well-covered historical subject matter, The Zookeeper's Wife might have been a gamble, had anyone else but Diane Ackerman tackled it."
"Review" by , "[An] absorbing book."
"Review" by , "Ackerman has done an invaluable service in bringing a little-known story of heroism and compassion to light. Highly recommended."
"Synopsis" by , A true story "as powerful as Schindler's List" in which the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands.
"Synopsis" by , 2008 Orion Book Award

The New York Times bestseller: a true story in which the keepers of the Warsaw zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands.
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