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CAPTIVE! Presentation and Book Signing - German POWs from WWII Working on Mennonite Farms in Lancaster County, PA

  • Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community 1491 Virginia Avenue Harrisonburg, VA, 22802 United States (map)

Join us Saturday, May 11 at 4:00 PM in Strite Auditorium at VMRC in Harrisonburg for a presentation and book signing with author Donna Stoltzfus.

Everything is about to change for John, a 13-year-old boy who goes to live and work on a Mennonite neighbor's farm during WWII. John's father is fighting in Europe, and John finds himself impatient with Sarah, a daughter of the family, who doesn't believe in war. To make matters worse, a group of German prisoners of war arrives to work on the farm. John always keeps a sketch pad handy for drawing whenever he has a spare moment. How can John remain loyal to his father and hold onto his anger at the enemy when a POW begins to encourage his art, noticing John's talent in a way no one ever has before? Unexpectedly, his drawings force him to make difficult decisions involving POWs, his father, and his dreams.

Donna Stoltzfus enjoys combining her love of history with writing--through novels, non-fiction or poetry. Donna was born in Harrisonburg, but grew up in New York City. She often visited Lancaster County, PA where she had extended family of both Mennonite and Amish heritage. Donna earned a bachelor's degree from Goshen College, and a master's degree from New York University. She and her husband have raised their three children in Lancaster County.

Donna has worked for over ten years for Ten Thousand Villages, a fair-trade retail organization, which inspired her to author a picture book,In The Trunk of Grandma’s Car. The book tells the story of the founder of Ten Thousand Villages, Edna Ruth Byler. 

The author will share family photographs and stories of German POWs who came to the United States during WWII and worked in Lancaster County.