Summer of My German Soldier Author:Bette Greene Patty Bergen was twelve the summer that the German prisoners were brought to the POW camp outside Jenkinsville, Arkansas. Awkward, lonely, always talking too much, unable to please her parents, she longed for a friend. Then, when some of the prisoners were brought to her father's store, Patty met Anton. I was a dangerous friendship, between a ... more »Jewish girl and a German soldier during WWII, when patriotic feeling was running high. . . .« less
Patty Bergen is the protagonist of this story. I could relate to many parts of this story - I am from Arkansas, was the same age as her during WWII with many of the same dreams. And I too once met some German POWs as my father took me to a near-by Army Camp where he was asked to interview some of the prisoners because he spoke German. Like Patty, I was often lonely & felt misunderstood,but for much different reasons...Patty was from a wealthy Jewish family. Her father tried desperately to 'fit in' with their Protestant neighbors which explains why he is so ill tempered & beats Patty, since she often deviates from his standards of how they should act. Her parents neglect her & she is also perceived as a failure. The plot is simple & straight forward, but some understanding of the time period would help the reader. . .Jews were treated differently in America during WWII. Patty is extremely lonely & longs for love. She meets Anton, a German POW, & shelters him after he escapes the prison. The best parts of the book are how she hides him & steals food. I don't want to spoil the story. . . does she and/or the soldier get caught? You'll just have to read it to find out!