Middle School Sleuths


Through photographs and historical documents, this book tells the story of how compassionate eighth-graders reunited two Holocaust refugees.

About the Book

Independent Publishers Bronze Medal Award. Paperback ISBN: 979-8-9872597-5-7

On the ship that brought her from Nazi Germany to America, young Edith Westerfeld met Gerda Katz. Both 12-year-old girls were traveling alone and immediately became best friends. Unfortunately, the two unaccompanied minors lost touch after their arrival in 1938.

Decades later, after a northern Illinois middle-school class read Is It Night or Day?, a historical novel that captures the two girls’ friendship, the students were so moved by the story that they made it a class project to reunite the two women. Fulfilling a shared life-long dream, the two women, now in their 80s, finally saw each other again in Seattle, Washington, in 2011. Middle School Sleuths captures the friendship of the two Holocaust refugees, the students’ research, and the remarkable reunion 73 years after Gerda and Edith shared their immigration journey.

Teacher’s Guides are available at this link: https://fernschumerchapman.com/school-visits/teachers-guides/

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  • Society of Midland Authors 2015 finalist, Children’s Non-fiction
  • Independent Publisher Book Award 2016 Bronze Medal Winner   (Juvenile-Young Adult Non-Fiction Category)

Author Awards