Growing Up in British Malaya and Singapore: A Time of Fireflies and Wild Guavas
Author: Maurice Baker
Level: Age 11-14
About the Book
Growing Up in British Malaya and Singapore: A Time of Fireflies and Wild Guavas is an autobiography of Maurice Baker's life in Malaya and Singapore from the 1920s to the 1940s. His memoir extends from the earliest of childhood memories with his family and friends up to the defeat of the British during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore.
Baker's recounts are often humorous and detailed with the help of rare photographs preserved since his childhood. His love for poetry also seeps through the lines of vivid prose, sending the reader back to a simpler time where tigers still used to roam the jungles of Malaya and Singapore; where fireflies were as abundant as starlight, and wild guava trees stood tall.
The Accidental Diplomat is another autobiography by Maurice Baker continuing from his encounters during the Japanese Occupation in Cameron Highlands. He recounts in detail the trials and excitement of his many diplomatic missions until his retirement in 1988.
Notes For Teachers
The aim of this book is to convey to Lower Secondary Readers what it was like to grow up before he Second World War and to live through the Japanese Occupation of both Malaysia and Singapore. To help the readers to understand the text, 10 worksheets have been added as an online resource to accompany the book. Each worksheet has been designed to approach a specific chapter with meaningful and engaging activities that expose students to a wide variety of questions and exercises.
The worksheets were created with three basic aims in mind:
To focus on National Education values which provide a holistic approach to Singapore's past, present and future.
To inculcate 21st Century Competencies of a confident and self-directed learner who is an active contributor as well as a concerned citizen.
To cater to the learning outcomes of the Lower Secondary Literature syllabus.
Each worksheet is to be attempted after reading specified sections of the story, where certain questions would also encourage wider readings. A sample Worksheet is attached.