• Three Stars in the Night Sky

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    A Junior Library Guild selection, this story of family separation — told through text, historical documents, and photographs — reflects the trauma and excruciating loneliness many unaccompanied minor immigrants experience.

  • Stumbling on History

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    Through text and graphics, this Junior Library Guild selection chronicles the author and her mother’s return to Germany for the installation of a memorial for their family.

  • Like Finding My Twin

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    Through photographs and historical documents, this book tells the story of how compassionate eighth-graders reunited two Holocaust refugees.

  • The Return of Happy Harper Thursdays

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    In this sequel to Happy Harper Thursdays, Harper finally sees her grandmother again, now that a vaccine is available for the “nasty bug” that kept them apart. But, instead of feeling happy and excited, Harper is angry at Mama Fern because she stayed away for so many months.

  • Brothers, Sisters, Strangers

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    A warm, empathetic guide to understanding, coping with, and healing from the unique pain of sibling estrangement.

  • Happy Harper Thursdays

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    A picture book to help children understand why they can’t see their beloved grandparents during the pandemic.When people who love each other can’t be together, it’s heartbreaking. And when a child is too young to understand a sudden, prolonged cut-off from a beloved relative or friend, everyone hurts.

  • Is it Night or Day?

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    This historical novel, a Junior Library Guild selection based upon the childhood immigration experience of the author’s mother, explores immigration and identity through a little-known American program that rescued 1,400 youngsters from the Holocaust.

  • Motherland

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    Kirkus called this mother-daughter memoir “an outstanding portrait of the painful postwar waltz of Germans, their victims, and their victims’ victims.”


“This is a book I can pick up again and again and find something deeper each time. It has helped me to realize that there were so many levels of hurt associated with the Holocaust, at so many different places around the world.”

“This slender book is both a memory and a memorial, a tribute and a warning, a look at what is and what wasA gateway to this piece of world history, and to a discussion of the need to remember and atone in order not to repeat horrendous events of the past.”

Jewish Book Council

Stumbling on History

“…An excellent introduction to the Holocaust… an important addition to any library, especially those serving elementary and middle school students. The combined reading of Chapman’s three titles, MOTHERLAND for adults, IS IT NIGHT OR DAY? for middle school ages, and LIKE FINDING MY TWIN for slightly younger, would make a compelling congregational or community read.”

Association of Jewish Libraries

“Every child should read it. Every school should teach it.”

Pulitzer Prize nominee James B. Lieber

“Informs and Inspires!”

Hadassah Magazine

“Sometimes heartbreaking, always eloquent, this is a fascinating look at one girl’s narrow escape from Nazi Germany…”

“This is a superb addition to any Holocaust or American History collection. Students will be moved by Edith’s story.”

Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

” … eloquent and powerful… As with the best writing, the specifics about life as a young immigrant are universal…”

Booklist starred review

“exceptional story of survival and devotion to homeland”

Library Media Connection, starred review

“rings with authenticity…Moving!”

Kirkus Reviews

“IS IT NIGHT OR DAY? by Fern Schumer Chapman, tells the story of Edith Westerfeld, a 12-year-old Jewish girl whose parents send her, alone, to the United States in 1938 to escape the Nazis. Told in Edith’s voice, the novel captures both the specific fears of a child fleeing the Holocaust and the more general experiences of immigrants adjusting to life in a new country. It’s easy to identify with Edith’s loneliness and loss. Her story puts a human face on one way that Jewish children survived the Nazis.”

The Crimson Review of Children’s and Young Adult Literature (University of Alabama’s School of Library and Information Studies)

“…This heart-wrenching novel is based on the true life events of the author’s mother and a little known American rescue organization called ‘the One Thousand Children.’ It joins books such as THE DIARY OF ANN FRANK and NUMBER THE STARS as a must-read for upper elementary students.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s magazine, Teaching Tolerance, which named Is It Night or Day? as a “Teaching Tool” in its Spring, 2011 issue studying World War II.”

Is It Night or Day

“An outstanding portrait of the painful postwar waltz of Germans, their victims, and their victims’ victims.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Chapman knew little about her mother’s childhood in a small German village, where hers was one of only two Jewish families, or how she felt when her parents sent her to the U.S. when she was 12, in 1938. Haunted as she was by the loss of her family, she never spoke of it, and so Chapman was surprised by her invitation to accompany her on a trip back to Germany. Measured and mesmerizing, Chapman’s account of their unpredictable experiences, and the insights they gained into the anguish and guilt of the Germans who remembered her mother, constitutes a new and profound perspective on the legacy of the Holocaust. Turning journalistic pragmatism into an art form, Chapman allows each wrenching fact and observation to land in the mind like a stone in a pond, sending out ripple after ripple. No one survived the Holocaust unscathed, she realizes, neither Jew nor Gentile, and the sorrow is handed down from one generation to the next as inexorably as a gift for music, or beautiful deep, dark eyes.”


“Meticulously detailed account…which Chapman renders with precise and often moving prose.”

Chicago Tribune

“Fern Schumer Chapman’s account of Edith Westerfield’s return to Germany half a century after her forced exile was a finalist in the National Jewish Book Awards for 2000. Anyone who reads her observations about the remnants of anti-Semitism will surely be moved and even outraged.”

Dallas Morning News

“This finalist in the 2000 National Jewish Book Awards should have been a winner. It’s beautifully written and is so gripping that it is hard to put down… It is a book that can be discussed and appreciated for its literary elements, its historical significance and its depiction of a mother-daughter relationship”

San Diego Jewish Press Heritage

“Amazing… tragic and triumphant… incredibly powerful.”

…a “powerful memoir”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“MOTHERLAND has elicited favorable reviews for its personal, poetic, yet journalistically meticulous approach.”

Indianapolis Star

“The Chicago journalist and author tells a story filled with urgent language, love, and pain.”
Women on the Way, October 2002 “…a moving story of reconciliation.”
Crosswiseal, autumn/winter 2002 “A daughter reclaims the memory and goes with her mother on a journey to the places of the past. On this journey, both recognize how the relationship between mother and daughter is shaped.”
Kulturette, meeting magazine for women, September 2002 “The two women find each other on this journey to the mother’s homeland and discover the depth of their losses. The journey leads to the daughter’s deeper understanding of the mother.”
Ekz news service, September 2002 “…an impressive book. It is a story of love, of mothers and daughters, and of the importance of one’s roots”
Evangelist Church Internally, August 2002 “MOTHERLAND describes their search for the past and the mother/daughter relationship in a very poetic way. It is authentic and a story searching for the truth. The book is a must-read. It’s about mothers and daughters, the past, the difficult relationship between generations and between Jews and Germans.”
Ariadne, Forum for Women’s stories, Review by Dr. Gudrun Maierhof “Profoundly moving…It will resonate with local residents.”
Reid Information “Powerful… It will impress the local school teachers and children who will probably read it in class…The readings around Germany have evoked discussions about the past. No one who attends will forget these events.”
Großß-Gerauer Echo

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