Join others at the Champion Public Library for a monthly book club on Thursday, October 5th at 5:30 PM. Conversation, fellowship, and refreshments will be centered on popular book titles for adults to discuss. This month’s book, “The Zookeeper’s Wife” by Diane Ackerman will be discussed.
Jan and Antonina Zabinski were Polish Christian zookeepers horrified by Nazi racism, who managed to save over three hundred people. Yet their story has fallen between the seams of history. Drawing on Antonina’s diary and other historical sources, best-selling naturalist Diane Ackerman vividly re-creates Antonina’s life as “the zookeeper’s wife,” responsible for her own family, the zoo animals, and their “Guests” ― Resistance activists and refugee Jews, many of whom Jan had smuggled from the Warsaw Ghetto. Ironically, the empty zoo cages helped to hide scores of doomed people, who were code-named after the animals whose names they occupied. Others hid in the nooks and crannies of the house itself. Jan led a cell of saboteurs, and the Zabinskis’ young son risked his life carrying food to the Guests, while also tending an eccentric array of creatures in the house. With hidden people having animal names, and pet animals having human names, it’s small wonder the zoo’s codename became “The House Under a Crazy Star.”
Participants are encouraged to check out the book by visiting the Champion Public Library at 601 Railway Express in Ardmore or call (580) 223-3164. The Champion Public Library is a branch of the Southern Oklahoma Library System.