February 24th 7 pm - 8:30 pm
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Max and Benny's Restaurant, Deli and Bakery 
461 Waukegan Rd
Northbrook, IL 60062

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Max and Benny's 


Shel Pais will be featured at Max and Benny's!


Critically acclaimed Chicago-based writer Fern Schumer Chapman has written several award-winning books. Her memoir, MOTHERLAND -- a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, and a BookSense76 pick -- 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.

The Fate of the Arrow is an historical novel with a Jewish theme. The story takes readers to mid-13th century England, focusing on Jewish life from 1264 – 1270. I find that most Jews (and Gentiles) have little or no knowledge of medieval Jewish life, particularly in England at that time, including their expulsion in 1290. I have been interested in the Middle Ages since boyhood, especially how our people managed to survive with the numerous massacres, restrictions, edicts, etc., levied against them. While fiction, I have included relevant historical events and circumstances to help readers gain some understanding of the difficulties our people faced. The main character hopes to rebel against the persecutions and prejudices he witnesses:

A young man, forbidden by law to even own weapons, dreams of becoming a knight to avenge the murder of his mother and defend his people. When he saves the Baron of York’s life, he abandons his old existence, blending in to learn new customs and maintain a dangerous secret. A conniving abbot learns the truth, threatening to expose the young man if his family does not agree to the abbot’s hidden agenda. While earning the baron’s favor and being relentlessly pursued by the baron’s daughter, the aspiring young warrior must do everything to conceal his identity – for he is not Donald as everyone knows him, but David, a Jew. And discovery would be fatal.

The upcoming sequel, The Point of the Arrow, currently in progress, will continue the story to the expulsion.

Especially today when it seems that anti-Semitism is in the news almost daily, it is important for Jews to better understand our roots and history.




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