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Fern Schumer Chapman
Fern Schumer Chapman, a former reporter for the Chicago Tribune and Forbes Magazine, was named the 2004 Illinois Author of the Year by the Illinois Association of Teachers of English for her first book, Motherland. Her second book, released in 2010, is a Junior Library Guild selection and one of Booklist's Top 10 Historical Fiction Titles for Youth 2010. She has taught at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her work also has appeared in the Washington Post, US News & World Report, Fortune, and the Wall Street Journal. She has presented programs to thousands of people − from students in all grades at school to adults in book clubs.
Motherland was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in 2000 and Booklist praised the work as "Measured and mesmerizing, Chapman's account ... constitutes a new and profound perspective on the legacy of the Holocaust."
Is It Night or Day? tells the riveting story of a 12-year-old girl (author's mother) who escapes certain death at the hands of the Nazis by traveling alone to a new life in a foreign country. Her bewildered efforts to assimilate in America are as poignant as her struggle against constant feelings of abandonment and isolation. Booklist gave the novel a starred review:"As with the best writing, the specifics about life as a young immigrant are universal.''
Fern Schumer Chapman lives in the Chicago-land area.
Inspire your students to think about moral choices. Awaken their desire to learn who they are through writing. Award-winning author and sought-after speaker Fern Schumer Chapman has presented to thousands of people -- from students in all grades at school to adults in book clubs. She brings her audience along on her mother's amazing journey as one of the children rescued from Nazi Germany by a little-known American program called The One Thousand Children project. By encouraging students to put themselves in her mother's shoes, Ms. Chapman guides young people to an understanding of the dislocation of the immigrant experience. Ms. Chapman's programs fulfill state requirements on teaching the Holocaust.
A Childís Immigration Experience (Grades 3-12) What if your parents told you they are sending you all by yourself to live in a foreign country? Ms. Chapman takes students on her motherís frightening immigration journey. (Powerpoint)
The Legacy of the Holocaust (Grades 4-12) Ms. Chapman explains how trauma is transmitted in families. This fulfills state requirements to teach the Holocaust.
Writers Workshop: (Grades 3-12) Ms. Chapman teaches the craft of writing, inspiring students to discover their identity through story.
Is It Night or Day? To escape certain
death at the hands of the Nazis, Edith is sent by her parents on a solo
voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to live in a foreign land.
Junior Library Guild selection
Booklist's Top Ten Historical Fiction for Youth 2010
Nominee YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults 2010
Education.com 5th grade Summer Reading List 2010
Motherland A moving memoir of a mother and
daughter who visit Germany to rediscover their past and face the
Holocaust tragedy that haunts them
Selected as one of 25 must-reads for the 2008 Illinois' Read for Lifetime program
Featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show
Optioned for film rights by Hallmark Entertainment
Named a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award 2000
Published in German and Dutch
Teacher's Guide available
Comments about the presentations:
"Thank you for telling the two stories that frame your life - your mother's departure from Germany and the void that her experience left you ... As we move away from the period that framed the Holocaust, new carriers must tell the stories of their family and friends so that the next generation will know and learn. You are the next generation. From you, we will know and grow."
Rachel Koch, Program Associate Phredd Matthewswall, Assistant National Director for Staff Development Chuck Meyers, Senior Program Associate Facing History and Ourselves Chicago, Illinois
"I deeply appreciated your presentation. It seemed to me perfect."
James Olney, Henry J. Voorhies Professor of English Co-Editor, Southern Review Louisiana State University and organizer of the Conference on Memory and Narrative Baton Rouge, Louisiana
"The feedback from your lecture has been outstanding! I continue to receive phone calls and positive comments even now."
Margaret Plaskas, Arts and Ideas Program Coordinator Waubonsee College Sugar Loaf, Illinois
"Ragdale has sponsored many readings over the years and I am happy to say that yours is a standout...Thank you for such a magical morning. May there be many more."
Sylvia Brown Director of Marketing and Programming The Ragdale Foundation Lake Forest, Illinois