"Lost Childhood" takes place in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) just a few months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese invade the island of Java, where four-year-old Annelexa and her family are living. They along with some 100,000 other Dutch residents are rounded up with only the barest of belongings and shipped off to internment camps where she will spend the next three-and-a half years of her life.Readers learn about the tactics the Japanese use to dehumanize the Dutch prisoners, about the daily routine, the food, sleeping and sanitary conditions, and about her near-death bout with malaria. They will share some of the horrific things she witnessed - the extraction of parasitic worms from a prisoner's throat, the agonizing death of two women who as punishment for breaking a rule are tied to poles in the hot sun with out food or water, and stacks of dead bodies being piled on a truck and hauled away. Tensions continue after liberation as civil war in Indonesia forces the family to flee first to Holland and then to the United States where she, her mother, and brother try to pick up the pieces of their lives.
Buy Lost Childhood book by Annelex Hofstra Layson from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(217mm x 145mm x 15mm)
National Geographic Kids
Publisher: National Geographic Kids
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Author Biography - Annelex Hofstra Layson
Annalex Hofstra Layson was born to Dutch parents on the island of Java in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) just before the outbreak of World War II. Her grandfather owned a successful plantation there, and her father was a pilot instructor in the Royal Netherlands Navy. Her comfortable, carefree life was turned upside-down in 1942 when at the age of four she was rounded up by Japanese soldiers and sent to live in Japanese prison camps for the next three-and-a-half years. For 60 years she has repressed memories of her early childhood, telling not even her husband and children. She is telling her story now in hopes that young people who read it can learn from her experiences and be inspired to work for world peace.