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Feb 21 2020

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.
Feb 18 2020

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 ...
Feb 13 2020

“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 ...
Jan 28 2020

Daily Herald covers author visit for all-school reads program

https://www.dailyherald.com/submitted/20200124/author-visits-viking-middle-school
Jan 18 2020

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.
Jan 13 2020

Another presentation at Algonquin Middle School

https://www.journal-topics.com/articles/author-holocaust-survivor-schedule-return-to-algonquin-middle-school/
Dec 1 2019

Seattle History blog features THREE STARS IN THE NIGHT SKY

https://wedgwoodinseattlehistory.com/2019/11/29/an-immigrant-in-wedgwood-gerdas-story/three-stars-in-the-night-sky-by-fern-schumer-chapman/
Oct 7 2019

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 ...
Aug 7 2019

SKYPE with 7th graders

https://www.instagram.com/p/B01ZR3JlYt1/
Jul 14 2019

THREE STARS makes 7th grade required reading list

Honored that my book, THREE STARS IN THE NIGHT SKY, is included on this 7th grade required reading list for 2019-2020 at Maui Waena Intermediate School in Kahului, Hawaii! A 2018 Junior Library Guild selection - At the age of 12, Gerda Katz fled Nazi Germany and came to America all by herself as an "unaccompanied minor." Gerda's story of family separation reflects the dislocating trauma, culture shock, and excruciating ...
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