For fans of The Book Thief and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas comes a lushly illustrated novel about a teen Holocaust survivor who must come to terms with who she is and how to rebuild her life.

Vesper Stamper

Vesper Stamper was born in Nuremberg, Germany and raised in New York City. Her family was an eclectic mix of engineers, musicians and artists who didn' t think Voltaire too tough for bedtime reading, Chopin Valses too loud for wake-up calls, or precision slide rules too fragile as playthings. She married filmmaker Ben Stamper right out of college, and together they have two wildly creative children. When Vesper earned her MFA in Illustration from School of Visual Arts, Ben gave her an orange tree. She illustrates and writes under its leaves and blossoms at her grandfather 's old drafting table, in the pine woods of the Northeast.

Vesper’s first Young Adult novel, What the Night Sings (2018) was longlisted for the National Book Award, and has earned rave reviews from readers and critics alike. For fans of The Book Thief and The Boy in Striped Pajamas, it’s a lushly illustrated novel about a teen Holocaust survivor who must come to terms with who she is and how to rebuild her life. What the Night Sings was the winner of Sydney Taylor Book Award, a Morris Award Finalist, National Book Award nominee and Golden Kite Honor. It was one of Kirkus', YALSA and Wall Street Journal's best YA of 2018, and has earned rave reviews from readers and critics alike.

Vesper is currently completing another illustrated YA about a girl discovering her unusual gifts—and falling in love—within the unfolding catastrophe of the Great Plague of 1348 (Knopf, 2020). She is also illustrating a picture book biography of Jane Austen (Bloomsbury, 2021).

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Talks and Topics

  • What the Night Sings Book Presentation with film

  • Illustrating the Unthinkable: Visual Narratives of Germany’s Nazi Past

  • Art and Writing Class Critiques

  • Art Technique Workshops

  • Portfolio Reviews

  • Holocaust History Lessons

  • Music History/Appreciation

…exceptionally moving debut...a strong addition to the bookshelf of Holocaust fiction.
— Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
...will leave readers gasping.
— Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
The narrative is spare but powerful as it depicts the daily horrors of the camps and the struggle to survive, hold on to humanity and, once freed, understand how to live again.
— School Library Journal, Starred Review


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Previous & Upcoming Events:

  • June 2, 2018: New Jersey SCBWI Annual Conference

  • July 31, 2018: Thalia Book Club Camp - NYC, NY

  • Sept 22, 2018: Princeton Children’s Book Festival

  • Oct 20, 2018: Books by the Banks Festival - Cincinnati, OH

  • Oct 20, 2018: The Hive - Cincinnati, OH

  • Oct 21, 2018: Cincinnati Library - Cincinnati, OH

  • Nov 15, 2018: Miami Book Fair - Miami, FL

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