Chapman, Fern Schumer Is it Night or Day?
Farrar Strauss 2010 205p 19.99
978-0-374-17744-7 ms/hs Historical E-BN
This poignant novel about the Holocaust is based on the real-life experiences of the author’s mother Edith Westerfield in this fictionalized account of her mother’s escape from Nazi Germany in 1938.
With the threat of anti-Semitic persecution growing daily, twelve-year-old Tiddy’s parents are determined to send their younger daughter to her Oncle Jacob in Chicago. Tiddy travels across Germany from her small town to the port of Bremerhaven to take ship across the Atlantic. While on board, she makes friends with some of the other children also journeying as part of the project. For several weeks, they will become her surrogate family. Separated in New York City, they all make their way alone to various destinations. Tiddy reaches Chicago and her uncle but her life is very difficult. Unwanted by her aunt and cousin, she is treated like a servant in their small apartment and her school life is not much better. She begins school with the first graders because she cannot speak English and, although she moves rapidly through the grades, she is still tormented by her peers for being German and Jewish. She finds some small solace in following the career of Hank Greenberg, the Jewish baseball player on the White Sox. At the conclusion of the book she receives a letter from a German friend telling her of her parents’ deaths in the concentration camps.
This poignant novel about the Holocaust is based on the real-life experiences of the author’s mother Edith Westerfield in this fictionalized account of her mother’s escape from Nazi Germany in 1938. Told in first-person voice, the descriptive narrative is cohesive, well constructed, and compelling, the author tells a story about growing up and difficult choices to be made and provides a different view of what a person deemed necessary to survive. The book ends with an author’s note about the little known “One Thousand Children Project” which placed German-Jewish children in American foster homes.
This book should be a primary purchase for any middle or high school that studies the time period and the Holocaust. Ogintz, Susan