Illinois Reads author Fern Schumer Chapman has a busy speaking schedule. She speaks on a variety of topics (see below) and some presentations can help your district meet the state mandate for Holocaust education. Other programs fit into units on Immigration, Health, or Ethics. Teacher’s Guides are available for all of her books.

Most programs include a PowerPoint presentation and a brief video. We customize our programs to serve the needs of your school, and we are sensitive to your budget.

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!

With schools transitioning to remote learning, Fern offers her 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

As a consequence of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, 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.

By focusing on one German town’s wrenching reconsideration of its involvement in national crimes, Stumbling on History: An Art Project Compels a Small German Town to Face its Past serves as a springboard to discuss questions of historical responsibility, inspiring students to develop an energetic, empathetic sense of citizenship.


Inspiring presentation on student community-service projects

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.

In addition, this presentation showcases the book, Like Finding My Twin, 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-olds who were traveling alone and became inseparable on the ship to America in 1938 (as captured in the book Is It Night or Day?), the students designed a class project to locate and reunite the two old friends. The Oprah Winfrey Network did a half-hour show on this remarkable reunion, and this presentation includes a clip from the show.

Other Programs

Edith’s Immigration Story

The childhood immigration story of the author's mother, an unaccompanied minor, who fled Nazi Germany in 1938 all by herself.

Understanding and Healing Family Trauma

Students often don't understand how traumatic events in the family define their lives. This program is a primer on trauma for young people.

Fall Kick-off Assembly

Developing School Character and School Culture (based upon role models in Fern’s books)

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.

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