Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Fern Schumer  

Pen Name: Fern Schumer Chapman

Genre: C:ADULT C:YA Non-Fiction

Born: Chicago, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Schumer was born in Chicago and currently resides in Lake Bluff.

Biographical and Professional Information

Critically acclaimed Chicago-based writer Fern Schumer Chapman has written several award-winning books. Her memoir, MOTHERLAND is a popular choice for book clubs. Her other books, IS IT NIGHT OR DAY?, LIKE FINDING MY TWIN, and STUMBLING ON HISTORY are used in middle school classrooms. In 2004, the Illinois Association of Teachers of English (IATE) named Chapman the "Illinois Author of the Year." Twice, Oprah Winfrey shows have featured her books.

IS IT NIGHT OR DAY?, explores immigration, Americanization, and identity formation through a little-known program that rescued 1,400 youngsters from the Holocaust. LIKE FINDING MY TWIN showcases how 8th graders reunited two Holocaust refugees. Teachers Guides aligned to the new Core Curriculum State Standards are available for all of her books at Fern Schumer Chapman gives many school speeches each year, sharing these remarkable stories with students.

As a journalist and reporter, her work has appeared in many publications including the Chicago Tribune, Forbes, The Forward, The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Fortune, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, she has taught magazine writing and other seminars at both Northwestern and Lake Forest College.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- """Motherland""" *Discover New Great Writers Selection, Barnes & Noble *Recommended Pick, BookSense76 *Finalist, National Jewish Book Awards *Read for Lifetime Selection, Illinois State Library 2008 """Is it Night or Day?""" *Junior Library Guild selection """Other Awards:""" *Illinois Author of the Year, Illinois Association of Teachers of English, 2004 *Fern was honored at the 2005 Illinois Authors Book Fair sponsored by the Illinois Center for the Book and the Illinois State Library in Springfield, Illinois.