Award-winning author Fern Schumer Chapman maintains a busy speaking schedule. She speaks on a variety of topics (see below) at an assortment of venues -- schools, churches, charity events, book groups, women's luncheons, and libraries. For teachers and school administrators, her presentations can help your district meet state mandates for Holocaust education. Other programs fit into units on immigration, health, or ethics. Comprehensive teacher's guides are available on her website for all of her books at no cost.

Fern's programs include a PowerPoint presentation and a brief video. She customizes her programs to serve the needs of your school.

Programs in the Press

ABC7-Chicago covered a recent FSC school visit. Here's the news story:

Viking Middle School in Gurnee, IL used Three Stars in the Night Sky as an all-school reads selection. Here is the special website the school created about the program:


Online Presentations Now Available!

Fern offers various programs as Zoom events for individual classes at reduced rates. Fern can accommodate as many as 20 classes on a Zoom call or she will happily serve an individual class and alter her presentations to meet students' needs.

Featured Programs


Timely presentation on issues of historical responsibility

Our nation is experiencing an unprecedented re-examination of our past. Americans are asking what and whom we ought to remember, honor, and memorialize. Young people have played an important role in this national dialogue.

This program focuses on the installation of Stolpersteine, Stumbling Stones, to memorialize victims of the Holocaust. Based upon the book, Facing the Past: A Public Memorial Compels a Small German Town to Confront Its History, this program focuses on one German town's wrenching reconsideration of its involvement in national crimes. This program serves as a springboard to discuss questions of historical responsibility, inspiring community members to develop an energetic, empathetic sense of citizenship.


How 8th-Graders Reunited Two Holocaust Survivors: A Service Learning Project

It's amazing what young people can do! This presentation features how students changed lives through community-service projects - from obtaining pensions for former Negro Baseball League players to changing the name of a park from remembering a slave holder to honoring a black leader.

This presentation showcases the book, Middle School Sleuths, which documents how middle school students reunited two Holocaust refugees who hadn't seen each other in 72 years. Moved by the story of the friendship of two 12-year-old refugees who were traveling alone and became inseparable on the ship (as captured in the book Is It Night or Day?), students designed a class project to locate and reunite the two old friends. An Oprah show did a half-hour program and this presentation includes a clip of this remarkable reunion.

Other Programs

Edith's Immigration Story

Watching the news is a harrowing experience for everyone these days. But seeing families torn apart as parents dispatch their children to safety is agonizing. Sadly, this is the life story of Edith Westerfeld, the author's mother.

Based upon the book, Is It Night or Day?, this program captures Edith's childhood immigration story as an unaccompanied minor, who fled Nazi Germany in 1938 all by herself. The book also explores her assimilation into American teenage culture.

This program is especially relevant for schools that are welcoming new immigrant students.

Understanding Family Trauma: The Legacy of the Holocaust

During this difficult time, young people often struggle with anxiety, depression and other serious mental health issues. Many are unaware that their issues may be rooted in inherited, intergenerational trauma that can define the lives of family members for generations.

In this program, the author explores how her mother's Holocaust history shaped her life. Based upon the book, Motherland, the program explores the transmission of trauma in families. This program, in part a primer on trauma, offers understanding, insights, and ways to cope with this overwhelming, but common problem. 

Brothers, Sisters, Strangers: Sibling Estrangement and the Road to Reconciliation

In this presentation, the author tells the painful story of her forty-year estrangement from her only brother and chronicles their uneasy road to reconciliation. Along the way, she weaves in pertinent social science research and captures the voices and insights of others suffering from sibling alientation.

Nearly one-third of all siblings have a strained or estranged relationship. Fern will discuss  the risk factors of estrangement, the stigma of the experience, and the larger consequences within the family.

Adult and Parent/Child Book Clubs

Fern's books have been popular with adult and parent child book clubs. She gives evening presentations to these groups.

Teacher In-service

Fern shares with teachers some of the many effective exercises she uses when teaching students how to write. She also conducts discussions with educators on teaching moral choices in the classroom.

Writers Workshop

Family Stories Workshop

Writing seminars for teachers

Program Details

LENGTH OF PROGRAMS: Depending upon grade and type of presentation, from thirty to sixty minutes.

AUDIENCE SIZE: Fern will tailor her program to the grade and size of your audience. No limits on attendance for assemblies. Workshops work best with groups fewer than 50.