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Is It Night or Day?

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It's 1938, and twelve-year-old Edith is about to move from the tiny German village she's lived in all her life to a place that seems as foreign as the moon: Chicago, Illinois. And she will be doing it alone. This dramatic and chilling novel about one girl's escape from Hitler's Germany was inspired by the experiences of the author's mother, one of twelve hundred children r It's 1938, and twelve-year-old Edith is about to move from the tiny German village she's lived in all her life to a place that seems as foreign as the moon: Chicago, Illinois. And she will be doing it alone. This dramatic and chilling novel about one girl's escape from Hitler's Germany was inspired by the experiences of the author's mother, one of twelve hundred children rescued by Americans as part of the One Thousand Children project. This title has Common Core connections. Is It Night or Day? is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.


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It's 1938, and twelve-year-old Edith is about to move from the tiny German village she's lived in all her life to a place that seems as foreign as the moon: Chicago, Illinois. And she will be doing it alone. This dramatic and chilling novel about one girl's escape from Hitler's Germany was inspired by the experiences of the author's mother, one of twelve hundred children r It's 1938, and twelve-year-old Edith is about to move from the tiny German village she's lived in all her life to a place that seems as foreign as the moon: Chicago, Illinois. And she will be doing it alone. This dramatic and chilling novel about one girl's escape from Hitler's Germany was inspired by the experiences of the author's mother, one of twelve hundred children rescued by Americans as part of the One Thousand Children project. This title has Common Core connections. Is It Night or Day? is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

30 review for Is It Night or Day?

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    "The first long train trip I ever took in Germany was my last. Now I see that it was a funeral procession... We were burying my childhood." From the very first paragraph of Is It Night or Day, my heart broke for Edith Westerfeld as she made her way from Germany to a new life in America. Edith's story is beautifully written and is made even more remarkable by the fact that it is based on actual events that the author's mother experienced. I loved the story and was glad to see that a bonus section h "The first long train trip I ever took in Germany was my last. Now I see that it was a funeral procession... We were burying my childhood." From the very first paragraph of Is It Night or Day, my heart broke for Edith Westerfeld as she made her way from Germany to a new life in America. Edith's story is beautifully written and is made even more remarkable by the fact that it is based on actual events that the author's mother experienced. I loved the story and was glad to see that a bonus section had been included that told of a reunion between the real Edith and the real Gertie.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Connor

    Three similarities and differences between 'Is It Night or Day' and 'A Long Walk To Water'. 1) Both books tell stories of children escaping conflict. ALWTW tells the story of Salva escaping Sudan, and 'Is It Night or day' tells the stories of a young girl, Edith, escaping Nazi-occupied Germany. *don't read after this point if you don't want spoilers 2) Both books have a common theme of loss. Salva, through his journey, lost his uncle, his siblings, and his friends. Edith lost all of his family me Three similarities and differences between 'Is It Night or Day' and 'A Long Walk To Water'. 1) Both books tell stories of children escaping conflict. ALWTW tells the story of Salva escaping Sudan, and 'Is It Night or day' tells the stories of a young girl, Edith, escaping Nazi-occupied Germany. *don't read after this point if you don't want spoilers 2) Both books have a common theme of loss. Salva, through his journey, lost his uncle, his siblings, and his friends. Edith lost all of his family members to the Nazis, besides her sister and her uncle. Reading both of these books gave me a great deal of sadness. 3) Both of the books have a fulfilling ending. Salva managed to help people and achieve his goal of providing water to Sudanese natives, and Edith survived and holocaust and is still living in America.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cecilia London

    A somber read, made more poignant by the fact that it's based on a true story. A somber read, made more poignant by the fact that it's based on a true story.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    This book was based on true events of the author's mother -- events that I was unaware of, a project put in place in America to save Jewish children during the Nazi rule in Germany. Fascinating and heartbreaking story. This book was based on true events of the author's mother -- events that I was unaware of, a project put in place in America to save Jewish children during the Nazi rule in Germany. Fascinating and heartbreaking story.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Blair

    A pretty good read that was poweful and depressing entailing a Jewish 12-year-old who moved to America just before her family got sent to a concentration camp. It was a gruesome story but powerful. Knocking it down from five to four stars is that the dialogue was unrealistic and some parts that should have been slowed down weren't: the whole plot was the same speed. A pretty good read that was poweful and depressing entailing a Jewish 12-year-old who moved to America just before her family got sent to a concentration camp. It was a gruesome story but powerful. Knocking it down from five to four stars is that the dialogue was unrealistic and some parts that should have been slowed down weren't: the whole plot was the same speed.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hallie

    A Review of Is It Night Or Day? by Fern Shumer Chapmen Have you ever been forced to go somewhere you don't want to go ? Is It Night Or Day by Fern Shumer Chapmen is a historical fiction novel about a little girl who is sent alone from Europe to America during the Holocaust . In America they follow a totally different life style than Edith did back in Europe. Edith was ripped apart from her family by the evils of the Holocaust. The curiosity of what will happen to Edith while in a different cont A Review of Is It Night Or Day? by Fern Shumer Chapmen Have you ever been forced to go somewhere you don't want to go ? Is It Night Or Day by Fern Shumer Chapmen is a historical fiction novel about a little girl who is sent alone from Europe to America during the Holocaust . In America they follow a totally different life style than Edith did back in Europe. Edith was ripped apart from her family by the evils of the Holocaust. The curiosity of what will happen to Edith while in a different continent then her parents will keep you reading. In this book the character of Edith was very strong . I loved that Edith was able to fight off what she was feeling inside and live with her new life in America. When Edith was at the port where the boat docked, she was very dramatic. While boarding, she was able to put her feelings away so that the Nazi soldiers wouldn't torture her family. After she got off the boat to the " free land ", she was able to live with a horrible aunt who made her do a million chores a day before going to sleep in a scroungy bed. Edith was strong enough not to let her anger show. Edith also showed a ton of strength when she suffered through a family tragedy and was able to live with that. In about every chapter there was a lot of suspense that wanted to make me read more. When Edith's parents sent letters to her telling her how hard their life was back in Europe , I was eager to find out if her family made enough money to come to America. Also in the book I enjoyed the part when Edith and her uncle were trying to raise money for her family to come to America , but unfortunately it wasn't enough for her family to make it. Back in Europe in the 1900's it wasn't a great time and place for Jews to be living there. Ninety nine out of every hundred Jews where taken to concentration camps and killed in gas chambers. Is It Night Or Day was a great way to get a feel for what type of horrible treatment Jews were getting in Europe through the eyes of a little girl . This book has a great historical background and has awesome characters. In about every chapter the suspense was driving me crazy . I just had to keep reading to find out everything . Is It Night Or Day is a great choice for anyone who loves reading historical novels.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Makayla Mangrum

    In this book it is a teen girl who's family is barely surviving in Germany, because of all the threats and limits of what they can do for being Jewish. She is sent to America where some of her family lives, so she will be safe and free. In the end she has a much better life but she still holds that curiosity of what all happened over in Germany and also why her family was killed.This book shows one perspective of one person instead of foucusing on a crowd or group that was effected by the Holoc In this book it is a teen girl who's family is barely surviving in Germany, because of all the threats and limits of what they can do for being Jewish. She is sent to America where some of her family lives, so she will be safe and free. In the end she has a much better life but she still holds that curiosity of what all happened over in Germany and also why her family was killed.This book shows one perspective of one person instead of foucusing on a crowd or group that was effected by the Holocaust, and it helps to see what it was like. I think that the author describes the emotions of the characters really well. It was very interesting to see what happened next, and how the tension built up. What I didn't like is how a part of the story would be continued or unanswered. I don't know much about World War Two and I think it is a really encapturing topic, and this book gave me a feeling of what it was like as a child her age to go through everything. I would recomend this to tween girls and boys but mainly for girls, especially people who ponder the subject of World War Two. The book show's so much bravery and independence of a girl who is in a new country and dosen't speak the same language. It could change your whole perspective of how important it was to some people just to save one soul during that time period by just reading a part of it. I really loved this book and couldn't keep my eyes away from it because It was so intriguing.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Katlyn Myers

    This was such a good book. Although it was just based on true events and not a completely true story, it was still very touching. You could feel the pain that these children felt. It was a sad story but one that I enjoyed very much.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    We all have those books that we know we're going to like, but we don't expect to love. Finding good YA historical fiction surrounding WWII and children is hard to find. Most focus on a sort of romance and less on what the people actually went through. This book though is all about Edith's journey to America and her life once she's gotten here. Edith's parents protected her from a lot of what was happening in Germany and how it was affecting her family. It's completely understandable why they did We all have those books that we know we're going to like, but we don't expect to love. Finding good YA historical fiction surrounding WWII and children is hard to find. Most focus on a sort of romance and less on what the people actually went through. This book though is all about Edith's journey to America and her life once she's gotten here. Edith's parents protected her from a lot of what was happening in Germany and how it was affecting her family. It's completely understandable why they did so and I would have done the same thing if I was in there position. By doing this though they left her at a disadvantage when things got bad. Which makes things more complicated when it comes time for here to leave Germany on her own and follow in her sister's footsteps to America. The problem? She's not going to the same place as her sister, instead, she's going to her dad's brother's family who she knows nothing about and has never met before. To get there she must take a ship and on this ship, she meets several other children who are escaping to America in the same way. They know nothing about the families they will be living with, or if they will ever see their parents again. I can't imagine how terrifying this would have been and I completely understand the one kid who cries the whole time. Once Edith gets to her Uncle's house things are nothing like what she thought they would be. She struggles to fit in both at school and at her new home, and this is something that was very common for immigrant children during this time. Overall I loved this story. I loved the friendships Edith made; and how she stayed innocent about certain things throughout the whole book. Her love for some American things, and how she did acclimate to American life after awhile, but she also still is very okay with her Jewish heritage and embraces it as much as she can during this time. I think this is a book that so many more people should read if they want to learn more about the children that came to America from Germany. Edith's story is one that is inspired by the author's own mother's journey and experience during WWII. Having the author be so knowledgeable and connected to this story it made it so much better in my opinion. Seeing her mother's story and how this book has affected her life as well was so nice, and something we never really get to see.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Margo Tanenbaum

    With the benefit of hindsight, we know that 12-year old German Jew Edith Westerfeld, whose parents put her on a ship to America in 1938, was one of the lucky ones. But as she watched her beloved family get smaller and smaller on shore as the ship pulled away, she didn't feel lucky at all. Like so many families in Germany, the Westerfelds of Stockstadt thought of themselves much more as German than Jewish. After all, they had lived in their community for over 200 years and Edith's father, a war v With the benefit of hindsight, we know that 12-year old German Jew Edith Westerfeld, whose parents put her on a ship to America in 1938, was one of the lucky ones. But as she watched her beloved family get smaller and smaller on shore as the ship pulled away, she didn't feel lucky at all. Like so many families in Germany, the Westerfelds of Stockstadt thought of themselves much more as German than Jewish. After all, they had lived in their community for over 200 years and Edith's father, a war veteran, was a respected civic leader. Not until Edith's 12th birthday party in 1937, when none of the invited guests dared to show up at a Jew's house, did Edith realize how everything had changed. Her older sister, Betty, had already been sent to America the year before; however, her grandmother refused to leave her home in Germany and Edith's father wouldn't leave Oma Sarah behind. But as the situation in Germany deteriorates for the Jews, her family sends her off to live with an aunt and uncle in Chicago, telling her that she must do what she can to raise money for their passage, arrange for work for them, and find someone to sponsor them--a daunting task for a young girl who couldn't even speak English. When Edith arrives in Chicago, her uncle tries to be kind to her, but it is clear that her aunt and teenaged cousin see her as a burden, and (almost in Cinderella-mode), as someone to wax the floor and carry the groceries from the store. School's not easy either; Edith is put in first grade, where she can't even fit into the tiny desks. The kids at school mockingly call her "Goldilocks." As she improves her English by reading the newspaper, Edith becomes a fan of the comics and the sports section, and soon shares her uncle's love of baseball, particularly admiring Jewish baseball superstar Hank Greenberg. She and her uncle begin a German Immigration Fund jar, adding her small earnings from delivering water. But when she and her uncle see the newsreels of Kristallnacht, her uncle sponsors a raffle to raise money to get her family out of Germany. Finally, a letter arrives from her mother, addressed to her uncle--her father has been sent to a labor camp. Her mother has desperately written to relatives all over the world--"but so far, nothing." When the U.S. enters the war, Edith has to register as an enemy alien, but what will happen to her beloved Mutti and Vati (mother and father) and to the servicemen stationed overseas, whose families mark their absence with flags with blue and gold stars? This novel is based on the true story of Chapman's own mother, Edith Westerfeld. Although the book will resonate particularly with Jewish readers, the story of immigration and what it is like to be a refugee in a strange land is a universal one for Americans, and one that will appeal to readers in middle school on up. Is It Night Or Day? has been recognized by the American Library Association on its Best Fiction for Young Adults (BFYA) list and was also named on Booklist's Top 10 Historical Fiction list. Edith was one of 1,200 children sponsored by an American rescue organization composed of Lutherans, Quakers, and Jews that took place from 1934 to 1945. Approximately a dozen children from one to sixteen years were brought in monthly through this program, a pitiful figure compared with what the United States could have done during that period.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Angie Fehl

    POTENTIAL TRIGGER WARNING: This novel does touch upon the topic of suicide. Teenage Edith's family has lived in the small town of Stockstadt, Germany (just outside of Frankfurt) for two centuries. Even much of Edith's childhood consisted of a very safe, sheltered existence. But now, in the 1930s, the political climate has changed. Suddenly, the most general outings such as grocery shopping, attending movies, even using the community pool, are all carried out with intense fear. Once closeted anti POTENTIAL TRIGGER WARNING: This novel does touch upon the topic of suicide. Teenage Edith's family has lived in the small town of Stockstadt, Germany (just outside of Frankfurt) for two centuries. Even much of Edith's childhood consisted of a very safe, sheltered existence. But now, in the 1930s, the political climate has changed. Suddenly, the most general outings such as grocery shopping, attending movies, even using the community pool, are all carried out with intense fear. Once closeted anti-Semitic neighbors begin to cut ties with Edith's family. {Similar behavior was being carried out all over the world, actually -- South America, Cuba, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Palestine, just to name a few.} This rising anti-Semitism brings Edith's family the decision to relocate to the United States. During this period in history, there was a program called Kindertransport that sent Jewish children to England for protection, but so many were seeking help that it quickly became near impossible to get into this program, so the States seemed like the next best option. Edith's parents arrange for her to be taken in with relatives in Chicago, Illinois but then soon find out they themselves are unable to leave Germany, so she's forced to make the trip alone. Is It Night Or Day? is told from Edith's first person perspective. The reader travels with her as she moves through the immigrant lines at Ellis Island, the whirlwind sensory experience she has seeing Times Square for the first time, taking in Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, the Empire State Building ---- the works! She finds herself immediately fascinated with all the freedoms of America, particularly within the Jewish neighborhood she's moved into: women are wearing nail polish (deemed sinful under Hitler's reign) and both men and women walk about freely displacing Star of David necklaces around their necks. Edith settles in with her Uncle Jakob and Aunt Mildred. There's immediate tension in the house though, as Mildred seems disgusted with anything German-related (umm, has she met her husband?!) Mildred ends up treating Edith more like a house servant than her niece. In fact, not long after Edith moves in, Mildred hands her a long list of areas of the house she expects Edith to clean every day; she's not given a room of her own but forced to sleep on the living room couch; allowed NO extra snacks between meals; virtually no socializing is allowed in the home AND Mildred is pretty emotionally abusive to Edith to boot. Uncle Jakob (Mildred insists he be called "Uncle Jack") works long hours as an accountant so he's largely unaware of the hard time his niece is having trying to co-exist with his wife. This being her first experience in her new life in a foreign land, Edith is naturally depressed, but she tries to make the best of her experiences outside the home. Even there, though, life is a constant challenge. She takes in Snow White at the theater, but finds the experience terrifying. She attends her first school dance, develops a crush on a boy, but then feels guilty for feeling joy about something when she thinks of how much her parents back in Germany must be struggling. Her experiences in the American school system prove to be some of her biggest challenges in this new life. Because her English is limited, teenage Edith is placed in a class of first graders and from day one forced to say The Pledge of Allegiance. What I thought was odd was the description of how the pledge was done. Never in all my school years, did we ever recite the pledge with our arms straight out?! But the moment proves triggering for Edith, as it looks too close to the Nazi salute: The children stood facing the flag and lifted their right arms straight out in front of their bodies, palms down, while saying the pledge. Watching them, I gasped, remembering when students in my German classroom started using the Nazi salute, just about the time the neighbors beat up my father. But she soon discovers she has a knack for learning language, so she finds herself grasping English very quickly, moving through the grades until she is with her peer grade in just a matter of months. But here again comes the guilt: Does success in her American studies mean she is betraying or disrespecting her German roots? Edith struggles to find a balance in her heart, a struggle that seems amplified whenever she tries to set up meetings with her sister, Betty. Betty had come to the States some time before Edith and was placed with a foster family about an hour away from where Edith is living now. Though it might not seem such a distance, it takes about a month after Edith's arrival in the country for the sisters to find opportunity to meet up. Though happy for the reunion, Edith is taken aback at just how much Betty seems to have embraced her life in America. Much like Mildred, Betty prefers to distance herself from anything German now, even advising Edith to stop speaking in German altogether as soon as possible. Once again, that torn feeling. She sees the benefits of "toning down" her German-ness here, but she also wants to honor her parents who have sacrificed so much to provide her with a safer life situation. This novel also provides a bit of a side story on the historical fiction front. At one point, Edith receives a letter from a boy she met and befriended on the boat to America. He writes that he was placed in an orphanage in Alabama, and from his town has witnessed first hand the result of Jim Crow laws, likening the signs he sees to the "No Jews" signs they'd both seen posted elsewhere. The education on racism continues when Edith first discovers a love for the game of baseball. When invited to attend her first stadium game to see the White Sox, she is so taken with the excitement of the environment! That is, until she hears men in the seats in front of her hurling racial slurs at Jewish Detroit Tigers power-hitter Hank Greenberg. Inspired by the true story of her own mother, author / journalist Fern Schumer Chapman writes one moving tale of one of the lesser known aspects of this heartbreaking era in history. Chapman writes in her afterword that her mother (also named Edith) was one of the children taken into the One Thousand Children Project. While relaying a dramatic but continually interesting story regarding an important historical snapshot, Chapman's writing style itself has a natural, comfortable flow to it that sets the reader up for a touching, empathy-inducing reading experience all around. I highly recommend educators try this one as a teaching tool for easing middle-grade history students into such a heart-wrenching history lesson.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Is It Night or Day? is a beautifully written and touching story for YA readers set during World War II. Fern Schumer Chapman tells mother's story of how she was sent to America by her parents to have her best chance at life. This novel is an excellent choice for students studying World War II, particularly because it brings to life America's One Thousand Children project; a virtually unheard of, but heroic and extraordinary humanitarian effort to save German children during the Nazi regime. Edith Is It Night or Day? is a beautifully written and touching story for YA readers set during World War II. Fern Schumer Chapman tells mother's story of how she was sent to America by her parents to have her best chance at life. This novel is an excellent choice for students studying World War II, particularly because it brings to life America's One Thousand Children project; a virtually unheard of, but heroic and extraordinary humanitarian effort to save German children during the Nazi regime. Edith's story, like all wartime stories, is tragic. But the story is told through the eyes of a little girl with hope, strength, and an inspiring resilience. The language and content is clean, though the novel does mention suicide. Edith's mother becomes depressed early in the novel and is caught by Edith stringing a rope in the attic. Ultimately, this is not how her mother dies, but this moment in the plot is a notable content flag. Is It Night or Day? offers readers a unique view into the effects of the war on German and Jewish people. I very much enjoyed reading this novel and recommend it for both educational and personal uses. My copy of the book includes bonus material, including a discussion guide and a real story of how Edith and another emigrant child are reunited after the novel was published. 4 Stars

  13. 4 out of 5

    Briony

    I fell in love with book despite the heaviness of the content. Reading about Edith's immigration from Germany to America to escape the destruction caused by the Nazis, I was captivated by Edith and her experiences. It was interesting to read about her own experiences in America and how she wanted to retain her identity despite her shipmates and sister who wanted to fully assimilate into the culture. Although sad and depressing, I also liked how Chapman demonstrated that people, especially relati I fell in love with book despite the heaviness of the content. Reading about Edith's immigration from Germany to America to escape the destruction caused by the Nazis, I was captivated by Edith and her experiences. It was interesting to read about her own experiences in America and how she wanted to retain her identity despite her shipmates and sister who wanted to fully assimilate into the culture. Although sad and depressing, I also liked how Chapman demonstrated that people, especially relatives of Jewish victims, realized the gravity of the Nazi destruction, but many refused or could not extend the help that was needed. I think the greatest part of the book was the end in the epilogue when Chapman discusses her title. I do not want to give anything away, but reading her explanation brought tears to my eyes. The only problem I had with this book was that I had a hard time placing it as fiction. I know that it was based on true events and that it was categorized as fiction, but I felt that it was too realistic and had such an authentic voice that it should have almost been put into non-fiction.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Grbcich

    I found this book to be amazing in many ways, the first was the mood of the book. The mood of the book was incredible, the author did such a great job sucking you into the book with descriptive fist person writing and the vivid flashbacks throughout the book. I also loved how the author spent so much time on the journey of the separation of the Edith and her parents. The reason I say this is because some books just skip over all the emotional tramma the main character went through by just saying I found this book to be amazing in many ways, the first was the mood of the book. The mood of the book was incredible, the author did such a great job sucking you into the book with descriptive fist person writing and the vivid flashbacks throughout the book. I also loved how the author spent so much time on the journey of the separation of the Edith and her parents. The reason I say this is because some books just skip over all the emotional tramma the main character went through by just saying, " and then I never saw them again" but instead Is it Night or Day captured the hardship and thoughts of the main character and showed in creative ways how she was feeling. I feel like this book captures the feeling of wanting something so badly, but only to have it ripped away. I say this because the book is mostly about Edith's joureny, and how she loses her familly and close friends. In all I thought this was a great book because of the captivating story line and the raw emotions that the book made you feel throughout every page.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Beth Dailey Kenneth

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Book starts pre-WWII when Jews, with enough money and sponsorship, can escape Germany and Hitler to another country. The Westerfeld's have saved enough to send both daughters to America. The oldest, Betty, is a "companion" to an American girl her own age. Edith, the youngest, is finally able to follow Betty to America. She is sponsored by a coalition and will live with her Uncle Jack, his wife and daughter. Unfortunately Edith does not find a "family" but is treated more like Cinderella--cleanin Book starts pre-WWII when Jews, with enough money and sponsorship, can escape Germany and Hitler to another country. The Westerfeld's have saved enough to send both daughters to America. The oldest, Betty, is a "companion" to an American girl her own age. Edith, the youngest, is finally able to follow Betty to America. She is sponsored by a coalition and will live with her Uncle Jack, his wife and daughter. Unfortunately Edith does not find a "family" but is treated more like Cinderella--cleaning, carrying shopping bags, etc. Her sister, Betty finds a family and new "sister" with her American sponsors. Once war begins, Edith must register as an "enemy alien." Edith loses everything when her parents and grandmother die in Germany--all in a concentration camp. However this strong and courageous girl grows into a woman and mother. Powerful writing

  16. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Ever since reading Number the Stars as a kid, I've been fascinated by stories of the Holocaust. Lately, though, it seems that many of the novels are telling the same story. Is It Night or Day? addresses a new experience of a young Jewish girl during WWII. She missed the concentration camps, and was sent to a new life in America, but still loses her family and has to adjust to a whole new world. Edith is discriminated against and finds that even in America there is prejudice. I liked the characte Ever since reading Number the Stars as a kid, I've been fascinated by stories of the Holocaust. Lately, though, it seems that many of the novels are telling the same story. Is It Night or Day? addresses a new experience of a young Jewish girl during WWII. She missed the concentration camps, and was sent to a new life in America, but still loses her family and has to adjust to a whole new world. Edith is discriminated against and finds that even in America there is prejudice. I liked the character of Edith. As a young girl, she's going through more life changes than just what is happening in Germany. She takes Hank Greenburg as her hero and becomes a huge baseball fan. Overall she was a plucky girl who occasionally slipped into despondency over her situation.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This book written in the voice of Edith (Tiddy) explains the anguish of being sent to America, from Germany, as a child to be protected from the Nazis. It is a poignant story because the author explains how harrowing the ship voyage was; how unfamiliar everything in Chicago was; how difficult school and life would be for an immigrant who was lonely and homesick and shunned as World War II took up speed on this side of the Atlantic. What makes it all even more compelling is that the author was wr This book written in the voice of Edith (Tiddy) explains the anguish of being sent to America, from Germany, as a child to be protected from the Nazis. It is a poignant story because the author explains how harrowing the ship voyage was; how unfamiliar everything in Chicago was; how difficult school and life would be for an immigrant who was lonely and homesick and shunned as World War II took up speed on this side of the Atlantic. What makes it all even more compelling is that the author was writing this based on true events in her family. This is a very important book and I highly recommend it to middle schoolers all the way on up. The double images of stars, the star of David, and the stars for the American military came together in a lovely synergy of loss to TWO groups on p. 200.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Purple Grapes Gabriella

    Is it night or day? is about a girl named Edith who is Jewish and from Germany, but travels to the US before the Nazis really took control of the Jews. In the US, Edith lives with her cousins. However, her aunt doesn't treat her very nicely. Imagine the story of Cinderella. Imagine the character of Cinderella, Edith, but on a lesser rate. Edith goes to school, and then after school homework and chores. She's not aloud to go to any after school activities or any friends to come over. Edith also Is it night or day? is about a girl named Edith who is Jewish and from Germany, but travels to the US before the Nazis really took control of the Jews. In the US, Edith lives with her cousins. However, her aunt doesn't treat her very nicely. Imagine the story of Cinderella. Imagine the character of Cinderella, Edith, but on a lesser rate. Edith goes to school, and then after school homework and chores. She's not aloud to go to any after school activities or any friends to come over. Edith also gets made fun of about her accent, and how she started off in first grade to learn English. She doesn't fit in at school, and Edith has to figure out how to make friends and fit in.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Thing Two

    Fern Chapman based this novel on the childhood her mother who came to Chicago in the 1930s from Germany, saying goodbye to parents who would both die in concentration camps, coming to live with her father's brother and his - what would be considered today - abusive wife, and finding solace in baseball. Similar to the story Chapman wrote in her wonderful book "Motherland", this story is written for a younger audience, perhaps mature elementary readers and most middle-school readers. Fern Chapman based this novel on the childhood her mother who came to Chicago in the 1930s from Germany, saying goodbye to parents who would both die in concentration camps, coming to live with her father's brother and his - what would be considered today - abusive wife, and finding solace in baseball. Similar to the story Chapman wrote in her wonderful book "Motherland", this story is written for a younger audience, perhaps mature elementary readers and most middle-school readers.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Debie

    Can't wait to have my students start reading this book. Quite a story! Can't wait to have my students start reading this book. Quite a story!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lilian

    I finished 2 full books in one day, and 60% of another book! I think it's a new record:) I finished 2 full books in one day, and 60% of another book! I think it's a new record:)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ellie M

    My book is called Is it Night or Day? by Fern Schumer Chapman. This book is fiction, but it is based on true events. It is based on the past. The lexile level is 810. This book is about a girl named Tiddy. She is from Germany, and in the book she has to move to America. She moves to America alone, without family or friends. In America, she stays at her aunt Mildred’s apartment. Her aunt makes her do all of the housework, like chores and cleaning. Also, one day she wanted to see one of her friend My book is called Is it Night or Day? by Fern Schumer Chapman. This book is fiction, but it is based on true events. It is based on the past. The lexile level is 810. This book is about a girl named Tiddy. She is from Germany, and in the book she has to move to America. She moves to America alone, without family or friends. In America, she stays at her aunt Mildred’s apartment. Her aunt makes her do all of the housework, like chores and cleaning. Also, one day she wanted to see one of her friends from Germany. Her friend didn’t want to talk to her, and she was upset. When she started school, she had to start in first grade. After the teachers realized she was smart enough to move up a grade, she would move up a grade. Soon she was in seventh grade, where she was supposed to be. She also had a fight with her aunt. Towards the end of the story, she finds out that her parents and siblings all died at a camp back in Germany. I think the theme of my book is to be thankful for what you have. In the book, her aunt is a very very strict person. She doesn’t let Tiddy go to parties, friends houses, and she makes her have chores every single day. They do not have a lot of money. Also, Tiddy’s parents and siblings die. She has a very hard life in America, without her parents and siblings. One piece of evidence it says “If she didn’t find any change, she would set aside a few items and, waving her hand, tell me to put them back on the shelves. ‘Don’t let anyone see you,’ she would mutter.” (pg 105) This proves that they do not have a lot of money to pay for things. Also, it says “During the summer, Aunt Mildred found plenty of work for me to do, but I was determined to make some money to help my parents get out of Germany.” (pg 124) This proves that her aunt makes her do a lot a chores and housework. I would not like doing chores and all of the housework every single day as a kid. Finally, it says “It seemed Aunt Mildred could find something wrong with anyone I might like.” (pg 122) This shows us as readers that her aunt Mildred doesn’t let her hangout with friends, or go to parties. I think that her aunt is very controlling and overprotective. She should at least be able to hangout with friends. I can infer that her aunt, doesn’t like her. I think overall, that this was a very good book. It was very descriptive and detailed. It would always get me thinking about how much better my life is compared to Tiddy’s life. Now, every time I think life is bad, I just think about Tiddy's life. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone out there who likes reading. My favorite part about this book is when she is riding roller skates to her old friend Julius’s house. Julius is one of her friends back from Germany, and he had to move to America as well. She had to ride like six miles to his house. It only took her a few hours to get there. When she got there, she tried to talk to Julius, but he had changed so much, and wouldn’t even talk to her. She was very upset that she had to ride this far, for basically nothing. I liked this part because when I was reading the chapter, I thought that she was going to be happy for once, but she wasn’t happy. She was upset that he wouldn’t talk to her.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Penelope Dickman

    In this chilling Historical Fiction novel for young adults, it’s the year 1938, and 12 year old Edith Westerfield is moving away from her German village that she has lived in her entire life to Chicago, Illinois when she didn’t even know what a state was. She was escaping from Hitler’s Germany who was driving out all of the Jews from Germany, and she was one of them. The Author’s writing style was highly enjoyable...there was the perfect amount of description! Everything we needed to know about In this chilling Historical Fiction novel for young adults, it’s the year 1938, and 12 year old Edith Westerfield is moving away from her German village that she has lived in her entire life to Chicago, Illinois when she didn’t even know what a state was. She was escaping from Hitler’s Germany who was driving out all of the Jews from Germany, and she was one of them. The Author’s writing style was highly enjoyable...there was the perfect amount of description! Everything we needed to know about was described but there also wasn’t too much description as to bore the reader. An excerpt from the novel that shows this is “Oma Sarah put down her knitting and pointed at me, then to herself, and then to the kitchen pantry. She wanted me to go into the pantry with her. That seemed odd, but I did as I was told. I was skinny enough to squeeze in between her bulky frame and the selves loaded with jars of apples, pears, and prunes. It was warm in there and I felt a little dizzy, but the shelves smelled like our kitchen---a sweet, familiar mix of vanilla and cloves.” The character development was perfect! Each character was introduced very nicely and the reader can easily keep track of everybody while reading the story. There were a couple parts in the story line that I was disappointed in because they were not as dramatized or as exciting as I would have hoped because of how introduced in previous parts. This book is not predictable so it keeps the reader hooked throughout the entire book. The end in my opinion was not very satisfying because it didn’t seem to end in a happy or sad way. It felt unfinished. This book left me feeling confused because the ending seemed to drift off from the actual story and it felt out of place. Fans of period pieces will definitely enjoy this novel. I give this book 4 stars out of 5 because it was really enjoyable and perfect for my taste but still had a few things missing that I was really hoping for.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    This is a wonderful little book that shows a different side of the horrors of the holocaust: what happens to those who managed to escape? Emigrating to America during that time period didn't automatically mean you were safe from terrorism, and for those who were trying to escape persecution, they often found that it followed them to the new life they were trying to lead. I thought this book- which is based on the true history of one such survivor- was an incredibly insightful look into this time This is a wonderful little book that shows a different side of the horrors of the holocaust: what happens to those who managed to escape? Emigrating to America during that time period didn't automatically mean you were safe from terrorism, and for those who were trying to escape persecution, they often found that it followed them to the new life they were trying to lead. I thought this book- which is based on the true history of one such survivor- was an incredibly insightful look into this time period and the relations between Jews and America. It's a different side to the Holocaust story that we are often told. Edith's journey was filled with wonder- on the boat and in New York with her numbered friends- but also with a deep sense of aloneness, unfairness and a growing sense of independence. She was mistreated by both her new family and her classmates. She worked diligently in the hopes she would be able to save her family. The efforts put forth by her uncle and the local synagogue to try and help people emigrate is astounding- I'm dumbfounded at how difficult getting passage was. It's a completely different side of the story that emphasizes just how hard these times were. Edith's story is amazing, and yet it is one that is not often told. I was extremely moved by the author's afterword and the bonus "The story behind the story," which should definitely not be skipped over. Overall, this is an excellent book for both young adults and adults alike.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Preston

    Preston Rose 2-26-2020 Mrs. Larson's 8th-grade class Is it night or day? 205 Fern Schumer Chapman Scholastic Inc. Historical Fiction ISBN: 978-0-545-80487-5 Price: $9 This book is about a little Jewish girl having to leave her family behind to be saved from Hitler's wrath. As she gets on the boat with other survivors trying to get away from Hitler, they all stop at different spots around America to see family and friends stay with. As she reaches her destination to live with her aunt and uncle she tries Preston Rose 2-26-2020 Mrs. Larson's 8th-grade class Is it night or day? 205 Fern Schumer Chapman Scholastic Inc. Historical Fiction ISBN: 978-0-545-80487-5 Price: $9 This book is about a little Jewish girl having to leave her family behind to be saved from Hitler's wrath. As she gets on the boat with other survivors trying to get away from Hitler, they all stop at different spots around America to see family and friends stay with. As she reaches her destination to live with her aunt and uncle she tries to live a normal life as an American while trying to get into contact with her friends. Slowly getting letters from her family still in Germany. She tries her best to get them out before something might happen to them. As days go by she tries of it in while getting used to her new family in America while in school, exploring the area, and finding old friends. I chose this description because it explains the beginning of the book and how the main points of the story start by going to America and starting a new life. Then trying to fit in and more new things happening in her life. 4/5 I would recommend this book because it tells a good story about how people have gone through a lot of pain while leaving there parents and home. I rated it 4/5 because always makes a new story when they get a letter from Germany and there's something new always coming out of nowhere. It explains everything in good detail and makes a good story to read to. It even makes you feel sad when something happens to the main character. Again I would This is a good book and I would recommend this book. If you like this book, try these: Drama from Raina Telgemeier Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes( Graphic novel edition.) from Scott Cawthon Garfield from Jim Davis

  26. 5 out of 5

    Arisbet Figueroa

    Is it Night or Day? Was a book that once I picked up I could not put down until I finished reading it. The book flows perfectly and keeps the readers engaged and guessing throughout the book. Edith is a twelve-year-old girl who lives in Germany with her family. Her sister has already been sent to the United States and now she is going to be sent because things in her hometown and her country are not looking very good. Hitler is gaining more and more power and everyone is turning against Jewish f Is it Night or Day? Was a book that once I picked up I could not put down until I finished reading it. The book flows perfectly and keeps the readers engaged and guessing throughout the book. Edith is a twelve-year-old girl who lives in Germany with her family. Her sister has already been sent to the United States and now she is going to be sent because things in her hometown and her country are not looking very good. Hitler is gaining more and more power and everyone is turning against Jewish families and people are starting to act out towards Jewish people. Edith's parents decide to send her to the United States on a ship that takes more than a week to arrive. During this stay on the ship, Edith makes long lasting friendships with a girl named Gerda and are inseparable on the ship until it lands and they both have to part ways. Edith ends up in Chicago with her uncle, aunt, and cousin. She is treated very well by her uncle, but the rest of his family treats her like a housekeeper. Edith endures many things, but she many people that her out through her hard journey in the United States. I definitely recommend this book to anyone that wants to learn about history and what happens to surviving children of war.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Erica Massarelli

    Is It Night or Day? by Fern Schumer Chapman is heartbreaking, but definitely a must-read. During the time of Nazi rule in Germany, Edith, a young Jewish girl, is sent to America by her parents. Her parents worked hard to send she and her sister, sent the year before, to Chicago, while they stayed behind with her grandma who refused to leave her home. Coming from a small town, this immigration was scary for Edith, especially because she was hoping, but knew that she might not, that she would see h Is It Night or Day? by Fern Schumer Chapman is heartbreaking, but definitely a must-read. During the time of Nazi rule in Germany, Edith, a young Jewish girl, is sent to America by her parents. Her parents worked hard to send she and her sister, sent the year before, to Chicago, while they stayed behind with her grandma who refused to leave her home. Coming from a small town, this immigration was scary for Edith, especially because she was hoping, but knew that she might not, that she would see her parents again. Upon leaving her hometown, she was amazed by the wonders on the ship that carried her to her new home. With her new friends, she got to explore New York City and thought that she might actually like her new home. This came to a hault though, when she got to America to live with her aunt and uncle. It was clear that her aunt and cousin were less than pleased to have her. Struggling with growing up, a new language, new culture, and missing her parents, this story is a true coming-of-age story for Edith. I loved reading it and learning about this immigration program for children that I really knew nothing about. I would recommend it to anyone!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lexi

    This book is about a young girl Jewish girl named, Edith, who is sent to America by her parents to pursue a new life during the awful times of the Holocaust. While this is not a decision that she made herself, her parents wanted what was best for both her and her sister, Betty, which meant leaving home and everyone she loved. This heart-wrenching story shows one of the many lives that were torn apart because of the persecution of Jewish people. Edith and her family experienced unimaginable treat This book is about a young girl Jewish girl named, Edith, who is sent to America by her parents to pursue a new life during the awful times of the Holocaust. While this is not a decision that she made herself, her parents wanted what was best for both her and her sister, Betty, which meant leaving home and everyone she loved. This heart-wrenching story shows one of the many lives that were torn apart because of the persecution of Jewish people. Edith and her family experienced unimaginable treatment in Germany because of their religious beliefs. Although adjusting to a new lifestyle in Chicago is not ideal, Edith promises her parents to do the best she can to make them proud. This book is based off of author, Fern Schumer Chapman’s mother’s story as she was one of many children who was forced to leave her home to find safety during the awful time of Hitler. I recommend this book to students in middle school or above. This is a well-written story, although it is a very emotional read. This book truly makes you feel as if you are a part of this dreaded journey to leave everything behind to start a new life.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Allie Maloney

    Schumer Chapman tells the story of young girl named Edith (based from her mother Edith’s own experiences) who narrowly escapes the horrors of the Holocaust and Hitler’s reign during World War II. As a 12-year-old, Edith’s parents send her to America alone on a huge ship with more than 1,000 other unaccompanied minors. Edith arrives to Chicago, Illinois with almost no English and lives with distant relatives while her sister goes to live with foster parents in the Chicago suburbs. Is it night or Schumer Chapman tells the story of young girl named Edith (based from her mother Edith’s own experiences) who narrowly escapes the horrors of the Holocaust and Hitler’s reign during World War II. As a 12-year-old, Edith’s parents send her to America alone on a huge ship with more than 1,000 other unaccompanied minors. Edith arrives to Chicago, Illinois with almost no English and lives with distant relatives while her sister goes to live with foster parents in the Chicago suburbs. Is it night or day? is Edith’s story of how she must relearn everything she previously knew from talking, to going to school, to becoming an adult in a new world—all without knowing if her parents were alive or dead. The author has won several awards for Is it night or day? including the Junior Library Guild Selection and the National Jewish Book Award. Schumer Chapman’s novels (both Is it night or day? and Motherland) are tear-jerking accounts of horrific events in World History and must be properly scaffolded to certain readers. Middle school readers and older would have an easier time comprehending and applying knowledge gained from these works.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amy Lynch

    Edith is a 12 year old Jewish girl living in Germany during WWII. As Hitler's anti-semitic beliefs take over Germany Edith's parents are forced to make the difficult decision to send Edith and her sister to America to live with family. Edith says goodbye to her family with promises of seeing them in America. She takes a long boat ride with a group of Jewish children to New York. On the boat she befriends some children and creates a special bond with one young girl Gerdie. The two have a wonderfu Edith is a 12 year old Jewish girl living in Germany during WWII. As Hitler's anti-semitic beliefs take over Germany Edith's parents are forced to make the difficult decision to send Edith and her sister to America to live with family. Edith says goodbye to her family with promises of seeing them in America. She takes a long boat ride with a group of Jewish children to New York. On the boat she befriends some children and creates a special bond with one young girl Gerdie. The two have a wonderful time until they have to say goodbye again. Gerdie is going to Seattle and Edith is going to Chicago to live with her Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin. Edith has a very hard time adjusting to life in America- she doesn't speak English, is smaller than kids her age, and looks/dresses differently. Her host family isn't all that welcoming either. Edith tries to be a good girl, do her chores, learn English, and earn money to send home to her parents so one day they can come to America too. Things are getting worse in Germany and Edith begins to lose sight of her family ever being together again.

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