Before schools close…

Squeezed in a school and library visit yesterday before more closings. I introduced the speech by explaining that when people and nations experience stress, they often find a scapegoat -- that was the case in the 1930s in Germany and now. When the president referred to the coronavirus as a "foreign virus," his comment smacked of xenophobia. Thanks to Library Director Lynn Delvallee at Washington Junior High School in Oglesby, ...

School visits 2020

It's that time of the year... Eighth-graders learn about the Holocaust in the spring, and I find myself hopping from school to school. Yesterday, my mother and I spoke at Hubble Middle School in Warrenville, IL. We have had the privilege of presenting to Hubble students for the last three years. Thanks to librarian Kristin Diaz for her determination in educating students on this important topic.

Moments from annual school visit to Jane Addams Middle School in Schaumburg, IL.

Students meet Holocaust refugee Edith Schumer, 94-year-old mother of author.

Cast members for Motherland, the play

Diane Dorsey, known for "Road to Perdition," "Ghost Whisperer," and "Last Day," will play my mother, Edith. Suzy Brack, known for her work on "That Wasn't Supposed to Happen," "Market Value," and "Bachelors Grove," will play me, Fern. Chicago Writers Bloc and Perennial Theatre Chicago are hosting the table reading with lights and sound effects on September 21, 2020. The festival features new plays. Location will likely be the Piven ...

“Motherland,” the play

Last Monday, the Chicago Writer's Bloc and Perennial Theatre Chicago met to discuss several new plays -- including one based on my first book, "Motherland" -- which will be featured in a Chicago festival in September 2020. The Perennials are a group of older theater artists, many of whom are part of the Steppenwolf Theater Company. This group recently read the script for "Motherland," and I had chills watching their ...

Video conferencing with a Basel book club

Yesterday, my mother and I video conferenced with a book club in Basel. Amazed by the technology, Mom turned to me in the middle of our conversation and asked: "Are we really talking to a book club in Basel, Switzerland?!?" When she came to this country, she couldn't call her parents -- who had the first phone in her village, Stockstadt -- because the lines were unreliable and expensive. Some ...

Daily Herald covers author visit for all-school reads program

The Rock Star of Middle Schools!

Students delight in meeting Edith, Westerfeld, FSC's mother and the subject of her books. Edith, who is 94 years old now, is living history. She tells students of her childhood experiences during the Holocaust.

Another presentation at Algonquin Middle School