99-year-old WWII veteran is now a prolific children’s author

This elderly person is reserved and busy indeed.

The 99-year-old World War II veteran has proven it’s never too late to do what you love after embarking on a career as a children’s book author. Today, with two books to his credit, the nonagenarian is winning the admiration of a new generation of young readers.

“Reading is the foundation of all other learning,” 99-year-old Sam Baker told Fox News of the inspiration behind starting a new calling at nearly 100 years old.

It was a tale of fountain pen fatigue: the native of Scottsdale, Ariz., enlisted in the Marine Corps at age 19 in 1942 — several months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. After leaving the service in 1947, Baker joined the US Coast and Geodetic Survey – now the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – where he worked for three decades until his retirement.

Then, at age 95, Baker decided to become a writer — an idea that germinated after buying his first computer, Military.com reported.

“Reading is the foundation of all other learning,” said Sam Baker.

“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?’ old bookworm in the military rag of his career. Renaissance.

Deciding to honor the request of his loved ones, Baker wrote his very first children’s book, “The Silly Adventures of Petunia and Herman the Worm”, which was published in 2018. The opus was, according to the suggestion of his son , based on the stories used to tell his children about a worm named Herman.

The soldier-scribe followed that up in 2020 by releasing his second book, “Oscar the Mouse,” which was inspired by a “white rat” someone gave him as a child.

Baker's first book, "The Stupid Adventures of Petunia and Herman the Worm."
Baker’s first book, “The Silly Adventures of Petunia and Herman the Worm.”

“She and I had a good relationship,” Baker recalled. “But my mum didn’t want me to take him inside the house, so I had to build him a cage outside.”

The author decided to make her a mouse in the story because “people accept mice over rats,” the author said. Baker’s childhood pet is also the subject of his third book, which he says will be published “early to mid-2022.”

The War Dog’s accomplishments as an author are particularly impressive given his own reading difficulties growing up. As Baker only learned to sight read while growing up, his journey to literacy was quite difficult – and the eldest wouldn’t even have mastered phonics until adulthood.

Baker joined the Marine Corps in 1942 and served in World War II.
Baker joined the Marine Corps in 1942 and served in World War II.

Yet Baker’s passion for reading blossomed in ninth grade when he was assigned a dozen book reviews in a year.

The prolific children’s author ultimately hopes his works will instill a love of learning in younger generations.

“Both of my books were written with two fundamental goals: to encourage children of all ages to learn to read and to convey an important message of acceptance in life,” Baker said. “If my book can encourage children to become avid readers, I will feel like I was a big hit.”

In another age-defying literary success story from February, an 8-year-old boy from Idaho slipped his homemade comic book into the local library — and got it published.

New York Post

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