New review calls 'Night or Day' a "must-read"

  • November 6, 2010
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From The Crimson Review of Children’s and Young Adult Literature (University of Alabama’s School of Library and Information Studies):

Chapman, Fern Schumer. Is It Night or Day?. New York: Farrar, Strauss, Giroux, 2010, 201pp. Grades 4-6.

As tensions heat up and anti-Semitism becomes rampant in Germany just before the start of World War II, Edith Westerfield’s parents struggle to raise the money to send their two daughters to safety. Edith’s big sister Betty leaves first, travelling to Chicago to live with an unknown family. Then twelve-year-old Edith is sent alone on a frightening voyage across the Atlantic to live with her uncle and her very unwelcoming aunt and cousin. Along the way she makes and loses friends, struggles to learn English and adapt to a new school, and eventually faces the reality that she will never see her parents again. 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 Anne Frank and Number the Stars as a must-read for upper elementary students studying World War II. KMH


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