Posts

An evolving perspective: Who's to blame?

Ever since my mother left Germany as a 12-year-old in 1938, she couldn't understand what happened to her and why. She viewed her immigration through the eyes of a child. She couldn't understand the political situation in Germany in the 1930s: Consequently, she couldn't sort out who was to blame for her separation from her parents. She didn't see Hitler as the villain; she believed her parents had betrayed her ...

'But I want to go to the zoo'

Lost childhood From reader Karin Gordon: "The one scene in the book, Is It Night or Day?, that stays with me is the young boy who lay curled up on the deck crying he wanted to go to the zoo. I was without my parents for several years during the war. "The Germans walked into Denmark in 1940 when I was two years old. When I was four, the Germans ...

Writer Hemon on genocide's bees

Bosnian American fiction writer captures the trauma and legacy of genocide in Love and Obstacles: Stories. He uses the image of a persistent, terrifying bee to poetically portray the endless experience: The bee pursued me relentlessly and unflinchingly, and I was more terrified by its determination than the forthcoming pain: it would not quit even as I was hollering, throwing in the air all the arms I could muster, lunging ...

'N or D' makes YA Best Fiction list

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has nominated Is It Night or Day? to its Best Fiction for Young Adults (BFYA) list. Here is an explanation of the nomination from the YALSA website: "YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults Committee presents fiction titles published for young adults in the past 16 months that are recommended reading for ages 12 to 18. The purpose of the annual list it to ...

WANTED (by Edith): Gertie Katz of Seattle

The Deutschland Gertie Katz (from an unknown German town) and Edith Schumer (my mother) of Stockstadt am Rhein immigrated together on the Deutschland. The ship left Bremen, Germany on a cold, gray day, March 8, 1938 and arrived in New York City on a sun-splashed March 19, 1938. Gertie and Edith, who were both 12 years old, became inseparable on the ship. "We had so much in common," Edith says. ...

Good wishes from German friends…

In 1988, fifty years after Kristallnacht, “Night of Broken Glass,” churches marked the mournful occasion by creating a “Night of Remembrance.” Services were held, candles lit, names of survivors and escapees read at memorials and churches. During those ceremonies, many church leaders asked elder members if they remembered the Jews who once lived in their towns. A grass-roots movement emerged and Germans began to research the Jewish families who once ...

MakeItBetter.net: The Holocaust and Motherhood

MakeIt Better.net Author Fern Schumer Chapman on Her New Book and Writing About Her Mom TAGS: Holocaust, Fern Schumer Chapman, books, authors, motherhood, book clubs, immigration Article from MakeItBetter.net by Liz Logan It’s impossible for us to know who we truly are without knowing something of our mothers. That’s why Fern Schumer Chapman of Lake Bluff has spent years unraveling the enigma that is her mother, who was orphaned by ...

What reviewers are saying…

From Library Media Connection: (STARRED) Is It Night or Day? "...This book is an exceptional story of survival and devotion to homeland. The author’s note and afterword contain inspiring information about the background and reasoning behind this book. Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl and this book would be great companions for showing how children’s lives were affected by the Holocaust. This is a wonderful study of the Holocaust ...

WBEZ interview with Donna Seaman on '848'

WBEZ's Book Critic Donna Seaman Donna Seaman interviews Fern Schumer Chapman on WBEZ's 848 on Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. at 91.5 FM. Here is the link to the interview: Eight Forty-Eight - Book Reveals Story of One Thousand Children Project

Dorothy meets Alice at IRA

McCormick Place: my rabbit hole When a book is released, a writer goes from a quiet, almost monastic existence to a minor celebrity's frenetic pace...overnight. Speeches, dinners, signings dramatically change the tenor of life. I often think of Dorothy's words in The Wizard of Oz, "I'm not in Kansas anymore." Yesterday, I signed books at the International Reading Association's conference at McCormick Place in Chicago, where I felt like another ...