99-year-old World War II veteran turns children’s author – Times of India


99-year-old Sam Baker, a World War II veteran, has made a new career for himself by writing children’s books. Now, with two titles under his name, the nonagenarian is earning the admiration of young readers.

“Reading is a foundation for all other learning,” Baker, 99, told American news channel Fox News.

Baker, a grandfather from Scottsdale, Arizona, served in the Marine Corps for nearly five years after enlisting in 1942 at age 19, four months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1947, he started working at the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, which is now the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Baker retired after 30 years – four decades before he launched a second career as a writer at age 95.

“When I purchased my first computer, my son called and said, ‘Dad, now that you have a computer, why don’t you write down the stories you told us when we were kids, for your granddaughter?'” Baker told Military Families Magazine, which tells stories from today’s active-duty service members and their families.

This led to Baker writing his first children’s book, ‘The Silly Adventures of Petunia and Herman the Worm’, which was published in 2018. The book is based on stories he used to tell his children about a worm named Herman when they were growing up. In 2020, Baker published his second book, ‘Oscar the Mouse’, based on his own childhood. After he wrote his first book, Baker was reminded of his beloved pet rat and decided to write a book about her too. The author decided to make her a mouse in the story as “people accept mice over rats”. Baker’s childhood pet is also the subject of his third book, which will be published in early to mid-2022.

“If I could just get one child to learn to read, that would be worth all the problems and the costs,” Baker added. “I’m not making any money. I don’t want to make money. I want children to learn to read.”

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