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

Seattle History blog features THREE STARS IN THE NIGHT SKY

Exhibit features 1941 letter from Gerda Katz’s family in Dominican Republic

My mother's best friend from the ship, Gerda Katz, had saved over 170 letters from her family, who had escaped Nazi Germany to the Dominican Republic in the 1930s. (I included a few of these letters in my book, THREE STARS IN THE NIGHT SKY.) Gerda, who also fled Germany as a 12-year-old unaccompanied minor, was sent to Seattle. She was separated from her family for over 21 years. One ...
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