Sign up for our free newsletter

Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.

Into her house, Antonina ZabiÅ„ski welcomed hamsters, piglets, arctic hares, muskrats, cockatoos, lynxes—and hundreds of hidden Jews. She smuggled them through a maze underneath the Warsaw zoo she ran with her husband, both of them Christian Poles determined to keep people in the ghettos from going to the gas chambers. In The Zookeeper’s Wife, Diane Ackerman, a frequent contributor to National Geographic, discovers and unspools an amazing, angry, and sometimes funny story that fell through the cracks between Oscar Schindler and Anne Frank. The story is one of families—that of animals and people—and of occupied Poland. And there are tidbits for food lovers, too, as Antonina finds new ways to feed her friends. She turns the corpses of crows shot for sport by German soldiers into a dish mistaken for pheasant pâté, a rich Polish delicacy: “Why spoil their appetite with mere details of zoological naming?” Maybe the author has the recipe. Ackerman discusses and signs copies of her work at 5 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919.