News & Events

THE TOWER OF LIFE: How Yaffa Eliach Rebuilt Her Town in Stories and Photographs, illustrated by Susan Gal (Scholastic, 10-4-22), has been selected as a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection.


LET LIBERTY RISE has been selected as a Best Book of the Year by Bank Street College of Education (History, ages 5-9).

LET LIBERTY RISE was selected for the Dogwood Booklist for Nonfiction by the Missouri Association of School Librarians.

THE TOWER OF LIFE: How Yaffa Eliach Rebuilt Her Town in Stories and Photographs, illustrated by Susan Gal (Scholastic, 10-4-22), has been selected as a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection.


LET LIBERTY RISE has been selected as a Best Book of the Year by Bank Street College of Education (History, ages 5-9).


MENDEL'S HANUKKAH MESS UP (Kalaniot, 9-6-22) & THE TOWER OF LIFE (Scholastic, 10-4-22) are both available for pre-order. Check them at

Read Chana's post for Tara Lazar's Storystorm 2022 and find out how she and her Picture the Books launch partners come up with story ideas! Click here.

New book art: THE TOWER OF LIFE, illustrated by Susan Gal, coming from Scholastic 10/4/22.

LET LIBERTY RISE was selected for the Dogwood Booklist for Nonfiction by the Missouri Association of School Librarians.

New book announcements!

"Chana Stiefel’s charming and immediate writing style is perfectly paired with Chuck Groenink’s beautiful, slyly humorous illustrations." Nice review of LET LIBERTY RISE! at

Great to see LET LIBERTY RISE! on the Cracking the Cover Holiday Gift Guide for 2021.

LET LIBERTY RISE! has been nominated for a 2021-2022 COCBA prize for nonfiction!


We've got news! My hubby & I wrote a book! Can't wait for you to meet Mendel. Coming from Kalaniot, Fall 2022!

Lots of wonderful reviews, articles & posts about LET LIBERTY RISE!

The Circle Line Cruise to the Statue of Liberty appeared in Publisher's Weekly, April 8, 2021!

"A perfect celebration of history."—Dr. Sue Ann Martin, The Children's Bookshelf, WCMU Public Radio. This review also includes activities and questions for readers.

“Chana Stiefel's charming and immediate writing style is perfectly paired with Chuck Groenink's beautiful, slyly humorous illustrations. Here is an inspiring story about the power we have when we all work together.” – A MIGHTY GIRL

"This book is a gem. The writing is smart and thoughtful, with obvious research and attention-to-detail, as are the illustrations. I learned so much about the American icon in this children’s book than I think I’ve learned about it through the course of my life."Leslie Lindsay's Blog, Always with a Book 

“Vivid and cheerful … Stiefel depicts the shared effort as a shining example of ingenuity and common purpose for a diverse nation — a battle to help the symbol of welcome, freedom and hope lift her torch to welcome waves of immigrants into New York Harbor.” – THE VIRGINIAN PILOT

Bookshelf Momma: Review and giveaway on Instagram
"I loved this heartwarming story. . . . Very well written, I love finding out things about American history I didn’t know. The illustrations are so beautiful."

"A remarkable piece of history. It’s fun and it’s inspiring and this book obviously makes for a good addition to a classroom too. There are even historical photographs of the construction - and lots of information in the back of the book. Definitely very well constructed"—Review from @dadsuggests on Instagram.

“This lively nonfiction tale honors the joint effort that allows her to tower today, ‘America’s symbol of freedom and hope.’” – WASHINGTON PARENT

“Supplies the context for a legendary symbol, in a story about America’s strongest values of community and optimism.– JEWISH BOOK COUNCIL

FANTASTIC BOOK, but first: Though technically a picture book, there is so much wonderful information here beyond the picture book genre; this book tells us how Lady Liberty came to be – it's her biography! … The illustrations showing children empowered by all of this is so delightful.– THE SYDNEY TAYLOR SCHMOOZE

Interview with Chana and author Maria Marshall on the Picture Book Buzz.

“This is a very educational book about the history of our Statue of Liberty. After reading this book, I would like to visit New York to see Lady Liberty and all the names of the schoolchildren who donated their money. I thought it was very smart of Mr. Pulitzer to think of a way to encourage people to donate. It was very inspiring to hear the story of how pennies and nickels of thousands of children and the rich and the poor got them enough money to build the base. I think parents and children who like to read inspiring stories will definitely enjoy this book.” – KIDS BOOK BUZZ

Colorful and educational … This is a great book to read with children because there’s a main story and then separate thought bubbles to express what the characters are thinking or feeling. I also appreciated just how diverse the characters are and loved seeing the Black family at the dinner table listening to the father read about the Statue. The colors used are soft and soothing and the little details like appropriate attire for the era make the story come to life.” – THIS BLISS LIFE

Review from Unleashing Readers: "Wow! I did not know about this story, and it is really quite inspirational. As a person who values community and coming together for shared causes, I fell in love with this book." Read the full review here."

Fascinating … Chana Stiefel’s text is not only accessible but inviting. She’s managed to convey a lot in a small space. Back matter, including a timeline, factoids and historical photographs add to the interest. And Chuck Groenink’s charming illustrations bring life and humor to the tale. This is a lovely picture book that will serve well in both home and school settings.” – CRACKING THE COVER

Great to see LET LIBERTY RISE on this list of The Ultimate List of Kids Books About Summer! “Fascinating … This captivating story will inspire children and teach them about the one of the largest statutes of its time that welcomed immigrants to America with the hopes of freedom and opportunity.” – HAPPILY EVER ELEPHANTS

Here's the story behind the story in the Jewish Link of NJ.

Great article about LET LIBERTY RISE! in the Bergen Record!

Hey kids! Watch the replay of the book launch party for LET LIBERTY RISE! with me and illustrator Chuck Groenink. Hosted by the Curious Reader on Facebook Live, Sunday, March 7.

Watch the replay of this fun virtual event for LET LIBERTY RISE with NFL Super Bowl champion and literacy crusader Malcolm Mitchell on Sunday, March 7 at Books on Wonder online!

Illustrator Chuck Groenink and I will be doing a virtual event at NYC's Skyscraper Museum, Monday, March 8, 4-5 PM ET. RSVP:

Join me and these other kidlit authors discussing our publishing journeys on My Messy Muse podcast (created by Michele McAvoy), Wed. Feb. 17, 2021 at 8:30 PM ET on Facebook Live!

Guac and roll! BRAVO, AVOCADO!, a new funny, punny picture is coming out from HarperCollins in 2023! Here's the announcement from PW!

LET LIBERTY RISE (Scholastic, 3-2-21) received a STARRED REVIEW in School Library Journal. "This charming history title is a true inspiration for the present. An informative must-have for all libraries." Read the full review here.

Our names are important! In this video for PJ Library on Facebook, I shared the origins of my name and a fun activity for families to explore the power of our names using my book, MY NAME IS WAKAWAKALOCH.

LET LIBERTY RISE! (Scholastic 3-2-21) received a "sparkling" review from Kirkus. "Sparkling language movingly describes how everyday folks effected powerful change. Readers will relish knowing that kids played a pivotal role in the campaign; many actual quotes from children are included. Lively, colorful illustrations capturing the period depict diverse characters and wonderful perspectives." Read the full review here!

Here's the replay of my talk for YU Libraries and the Stern College Education Club about my writing journey and takeaways for emerging children's authors. More than 70 people attended this event on Zoom on Dec. 8, 2020!

Interested in writing a picture book? Want to learn more about kidlit publishing? I am presenting a FREE Zoom talk for the Yeshiva University Libraries and Education Department at Stern College on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 ET. Details here!

Presenting the cover of my next picture book, LET LIBERTY RISE! HOW AMERICA'S SCHOOLCHILDREN HELPED SAVE THE STATUE OF LIBERTY, illustrated by Chuck Groenink, coming from Scholastic 3-2-21! Read the story behind the story here. Pre-order today!

I had a wonderful online author visit with 150 students from Wantagh Elementary School in Wantagh, NY. One WAKAWAKLOCH fan even made me a T-shirt with my name on it! Booking online visits for camps, schools, and libaries.


I recently started a new position as editor of the monthly Our Children magazine! Flip through my first issues of 2020.

I'm booking author visits for 2020! Schedule your visit today!

Meet me at Storytime at the Curious Reader, 229 Rock Road, in Glen Rock, NJ, on Sunday, Nov. 24, @ 1 PM.

Join me at the Storytime Bonanza at Books of Wonder, 217 West 84 Street, NYC, on Sunday, Oct. 6, 11:30 am!

When the Night King from Game of Thrones (aka Vladimir Furdik) tells you to write many, many more book after "Vakavakaloch," you get right to work!

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried wished Chana congrrratulations on Wakawakaloch! And now he needs a nap!

Here's Akbar Gbajabilamila, host of American Ninja Warrior, congratulating Chana on Wakawakaloch! (At least he got Chana's name right!)

Listen to the hoedown by comedian Colin Mochrie ("Whose Line Is It Anyway?") in honor of the launch of Wakawakaloch!

Meet Chana at the Book Launch Party for My Name is Wakawakaloch! Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, 2-4 PM at the Teaneck Library!

MY NAME IS WAKAWAKALOCH! is on's list of 20 Best Kids' Books to Calm Back-To-School Jitters!

What's in a name? Find out in this great article about MY NAME IS WAKAWAKALOCH! in the Jewish Link of NJ.

Tune in to Chana's radio interview about the story behind MY NAME IS WAKAWAKALOCH! on JM in the AM on the Nachum Segal Network.

Betsy Bird shared a wonderful review and reveal of the trailer for MY NAME IS WAKAWAKALOCH! on the Fuse8 School Library Journal blog!

"This is good stuff!" Hooray!

Animal Zombies has been selected as a Top Ten YALSA Quick Pick for Young Adult Reluctant Readers for 2019. To see the complete list, click here

Click on these links for interviews from Chana's 18-city ANIMAL ZOMBIES radio tour:

Minute with Mitch

Daddy Depot has been translated into Chinese! Translation of the title: The Perfect Father!