The Tree in the Courtyard, illustrated by Caldecott winner Peter McCarty, is a perfect, gentle way to introduce children in grades 2-10 to the story of Anne Frank. Told from the perspective of the horse chestnut tree behind the Secret Annex that came down in
a storm in 2010. Just like Anne’s words, she lives on, as her seedpods and saplings have been planted all over the world.
Jeff Gottesfeld has written for film (BROKEN BRIDGES), television (THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, SMALLVILLE, AS THE WORLD TURNS, ANOTHER WORLD), stage (ANNE FRANK AND ME, DOES MY HEAD LOOK BIG IN THIS? (adaptation),
THE WORLD’S STRONGEST LIBRARIAN (adaptation), and for the page.
Long an author of books for elementary, middle, and teen audiences, his most recent focus has been on picture books for children. His upcoming picture books include SHE SPOKE UP (Creston, 2018), about the greatest feminist of the 20th century whom few have ever heard of (Beate Sirota Gordon), and 21 STEPS (Candlewick, 2021), about the Tomb Guards at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, and narrated by the voice of the first Unknown buried there in 1921. His work-in-progress is UNDER GILBERT’S RAINBOW, about Gilbert Baker and his remarkable path to the creation of the rainbow Pride flag in 1978.
Jeff presents to students in grades 2 and up. He has spoken to groups as small as 10 and as large as 1,000. His rates are reasonable. Many school visits where THE TREE IN THE COURTYARD is featured culminate in a ceremonial tree planting.
For information and bookings, Jeff may be contacted at:
North Hollywood CA
"Gottesfeld had a multicultural group of children engrossed. During my 34 years as an educator in the Fairview School System, I can't remember a more engaging speaker for the elementary grades.“ - -Sammy Juliano, School No. 3, Fairview NJ