The Zookeeper's Wife (A War Story)

by Diane Ackerman | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 9780393061727 Global Overview for this book
Registered by itpdx of Portland, Oregon USA on 1/31/2008
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11 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by itpdx from Portland, Oregon USA on Thursday, January 31, 2008
An amazing story, well-told.
The heart-breaking loss of so many.
The hard work, bravery and careful coordination to save hundreds.

Among the many Poles who risked their lives to save Warsaw Jews, Antonina and, her husband, Jan Zabinski are a fascinating story. Their household of animals, Guests (Jews and young resistance fighters), family, and staff (some are Jews with false documents).

The Nazi attitude toward animals and genetics.

Now I remember why I am leery of a national ID card.

What it is like to live in a war zone and an occupied country.

Journal Entry 2 by itpdx from Portland, Oregon USA on Friday, February 1, 2008
This book will be going out as a ray.
Current order is:
smilingheron (OR)
Scarlett07 (CO)
vividreader (MA)
cinnycat (NY)
grannyann (NY)
300dogs (NJ)
acountkel (NC)
pammykn (FL)
Isabelopes (Portugal)
mirp (Ireland)<----book is here

Journal Entry 3 by 2of3Rs from Hillsboro, Oregon USA on Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Received yesterday as the first leg on a bookray. I have started reading it, haven't gotten to the difficult war part yet, still reading about the descriptions of the animals and the zoo. So far, so good!

Journal Entry 4 by 2of3Rs from Hillsboro, Oregon USA on Saturday, February 16, 2008
I found myself more interested in the descriptions of the animals and how Jan, Antonia, Rys, and the rest of the "Guests" of the zoo interacted with them than the parts about the war and the hardships (which were legion). This is more a reflection of ME than of the book - I've been wanting to dive into a novel (escape! distraction!) lately and then find myself reading non-fiction, which just isn't quite doing it for me.
Just PM'd Scarlett07 so I can send it on...

Journal Entry 5 by Scarlett07 from Colorado Springs, Colorado USA on Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Just got this in the mail today! I'm looking forward to reading it as soon as I finish the one I'm reading now. Thanks much smilingheron!

Journal Entry 6 by Scarlett07 from Colorado Springs, Colorado USA on Friday, February 29, 2008
I really liked this book. I loved the descriptions of the people and the animals and thought it was very well written.

I am PM'ing the next person so I can send it on. Thanks itpdx for sharing this book.

I mailed this book to Vividreader today 3/4/08.

Journal Entry 7 by VividReader from Portland, Oregon USA on Monday, March 10, 2008
Got this book yesterday! I'm looking forward to reading it and sending it on.

Journal Entry 8 by VividReader from Portland, Oregon USA on Friday, March 28, 2008
The story in this book was very moving, but I was surprised by how it was presented. I thought that it was going to be a novel, but reading it felt more like watching a documentary. The author would give all the details, backgrounds, even side notes about related points of interest. I didn't like that the narration was constantly interrupted by actual quotes from Antonina's journal. I feel that the book would have been even more powerful if it had been written from her point of view, as if it were her journal. But, the book really got going about a third of the way through, and it was a captivating read. It's always amazing to hear about how strong and brave people were during WWII, despite so much terror and so many "near misses."

Mailing to cinnycat today via Media Mail.

Journal Entry 9 by BookBirds from Somewhere in the USA, -- Wild Released somewhere in USA -- USA on Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I got this in the mail today (another ring/ray got here too! egads, why do they always get here at the same time?!?!) I'll be getting to this asap! I've really wanted to read this one. thanks so much for sending it, vividreader and thanks for starting it, itpdx!

Journal Entry 10 by BookBirds from Somewhere in the USA, -- Wild Released somewhere in USA -- USA on Tuesday, May 6, 2008
I really wish in history classes all through out your elementary and high school years, they wouldn't repeat the same general facts year after year. How many times can a kid hear "In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue" before they tune out for the rest of the school year?? I think if kids were taught stories of not-so-important people through out history, they would be much more interested in history for the rest of their lives. For example, if kids read The Zookeeper's Wife about a husband, wife and their child who did heroic deeds during WWII that didn't benefit them in any way. YET THEIR STORY IS NOT WELL KNOWN! Just think of all the millions of stories there are from the "little people" through out history! Much of The Zookeeper's Wife is almost unbelieveable...it doesn't help when there are more than the average number of typos, even on the dust jacket! Here is an example towards the end: "Still needing to support his family, and devoted to zoology, Jan focused on his writing, producing fifty books that illuminated the lives of animals and sued for conservation..." Sued? I had to stop for a second. haha. The typos make it difficult to believe that all these already unbelievable facts are accurate! Otherwise I would have given this a 9 rather than an 8! I also read this along with Maus and Maus II by Art Spigelman -- another amazing survival story. I must say though, if it wasn't for reading 'Hiroshima' and 'The Diary of Anne Frank' in school, I don't think I would be as interested in WWII history as I am now... but I read those in English, not boring history classes!

Released 14 yrs ago (5/7/2008 UTC) at N/A in Book and Letter Exchange, A book trading site -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Sent today!

Journal Entry 12 by GrannyAnn from West Henrietta, New York USA on Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Received in the mail yesterday. I have one to finish and then I'll start this one. I can't wait. This book has been on my wishlist for a long time!!

Journal Entry 13 by GrannyAnn from West Henrietta, New York USA on Saturday, June 7, 2008
What a dramatic and compelling story this is! The descriptions of the invasion of Poland and the occupation of Warsaw broke my heart. The brutality of the Nazis was balanced by the courage of many unsung heroes who did so much to save as many people as they could. I enjoyed seeing things from the viewpoint of Antonina and her family. Their courage and inventiveness were inspiring. I have read many books about World War II and this is one of the best.

Thanks for sharing, itpdx. I'll mail it on Monday to the next participant.

Journal Entry 14 by 300dogs from Jackson, New Jersey USA on Sunday, June 15, 2008
Arrived safely in yesterday's mail. Only one ahead of this, so I should be able to start it soon.

Journal Entry 15 by 300dogs from Jackson, New Jersey USA on Thursday, June 26, 2008
"We did it because it was the right thing to do."
Imagine what this world would be like if everyone shared this same philosophy.

Thank you itpdx for starting this ray. The Zookeeper's Wife will be mailed to acountkel on Saturday.

Journal Entry 16 by acountkel from Charlotte, North Carolina USA on Monday, July 7, 2008
This was waiting for us when we came back from camping yesterday.
Looking forward to reading this.
Thank you for including me!

Journal Entry 17 by acountkel from Charlotte, North Carolina USA on Tuesday, August 5, 2008
UPDATE:
Just started reading this.
Sorry it took so long to get started. I have had other rings/rays to read.
Should have this done by the end of the week.
I have already PM'd the next person so I can send on as soon as I finish.
I will journal again once I'm done!

Thank you!

Journal Entry 18 by acountkel from Charlotte, North Carolina USA on Friday, August 8, 2008
This book was a disappointment. It sounded so interesting. A true war story of the Warsaw Zoo. It had potential but it fell apart. It did not flow. It was choppy and sometimes it was hard to follow, time and place. The author, I think in order to educate the reader, went off on tangents that made it even more confusing. There were some really interesting parts of this book especially Polish heritage, the war, the “Ghetto”, the zoo and the animals and of course, Antonia, Jan and their family. I just think the author could have done a better job telling the story.

I have pammy's address
Will be dropping it in the mail tomorrow.
Thank you for including me!!

Journal Entry 19 by pammykn from Decatur, Alabama USA on Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Thanks -- looking forward to reading.

Journal Entry 20 by pammykn from Decatur, Alabama USA on Sunday, September 21, 2008
Thanks so much for letting me particpate in this bookring/ray. I will be mailing to Isabel in Portugal on Monday 09/22/08.

09/20/08
TITLE/AUTHOR: THE ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE by Diane Ackerman
RATING: 4/B
GENRE/PUB DATE/# OF PGS: NonFiction/2007/323 Pgs
TIME/PLACE: 1930's/Poland
FIRST LINES: At dawn in an outlying district of Warsaw, sunlight swarmed around the trunks of blooming linden trees & crept up the white walls of a 1930s stucco & glass villa where the zoo director & his wife slept in a bed crafted from white birch, a pale wood used in canoes, tongue depressors, & Windsor chairs.

COMMENTS: 08/11/08 rec via bookcrossing ring/ray. I thought this was an interesting perspective -- seeing the German/Nazi occupation of Poland in the late 30's-early 40's through the viewpoint of the Zookeepers. It was especially interesting how they used the animal habitat camouflage to hide the Jews out of sight from the German soliders and the code names were the that of animals . It was also interesting (but awful!) to hear about the Nazi fascination w/ purity in animal breeds. Obviously the author put together a well researched book. It dragged for me some w/ maybe too much detail at points but overall a very satisfying & worthwhile read! This would also make a good movie.

Journal Entry 21 by Isabelopes from Cacém, Lisboa (distrito) Portugal on Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Just got it today. Thanks for sending it and thanks for sharing.

Journal Entry 22 by Isabelopes from Cacém, Lisboa (distrito) Portugal on Thursday, February 5, 2009
I really enjoyed this book. I always like to read stories about World War II and this is a true story. It really moved me! Mailed today to mirp in Ireland

Journal Entry 23 by rem_BSM-942247 on Friday, February 13, 2009
It arrived today. Looking forward to reading it.

Just to let you know, I went to open the pack but it was already opened.

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