Item description for Summer of My German Soldier (Young Puffin) by Bette Greene...
Overview When German prisoners of war are brought to her Arkansas town during World War II, twelve-year-old Patty, a Jewish girl, befriends one of them and must deal with the consequences of that friendship.
Publishers Description When her small hometown in Arkansas becomes the site of a camp housing German prisoners during World War II, 12-year-old Patty Bergen learns what it means to open her heart. Although she's Jewish, she begins to see a prison escapee, Anton, not as a Nazi--but as a lonely, frightened young man with feelings not unlike her own, who understands and appreciates her in a way her parents never will. And Patty is willing to risk losing family, friends--even her freedom--for what has quickly become the most important part of her life. Thoughtful, moving, and hard-hitting, Summer of My German Soldier has become a modern classic.
Citations And Professional Reviews Summer of My German Soldier (Young Puffin) by Bette Greene has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Middle/Junior Hi Catalo - 01/01/2009 page 854
Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2001 page 464
Wilson Middle/Junior Hi Catalo - 01/01/2005 page 622
Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2006 page 682
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.26" Width: 4.42" Height: 0.57" Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 1999
ISBN 014130636X ISBN13 9780141306360 UPC 051488005995
Availability 162 units. Availability accurate as of May 30, 2017 05:27.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Bette Greene
Like Beth Lambert, Bette Greene grew up in a small town in Arkansas. Her first novel, Summer of My German Soldier, won unanimous critical acclaim and became an immediate best-seller. Bette Greene lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Bette Greene currently resides in Brookline, in the state of Massachusetts. Bette Greene was born in 1934.
Bette Greene has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Summer of My German Soldier (Young Puffin)?
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter Apr 16, 2008
This is the story of 12-year old Patty Bergen, a Jewish girl living in the South during WWII, who suffers from her father's physical and mental abuse and her mother's disinterest. When a German POW talks kindly to her while shopping (with prison guards nearby) in her father's clothing store, she is so starved for love that she later assists him when he escapes from a prisoner-of-war camp. Strong characters and a poignant story.
An okay book Mar 12, 2008
but the vile language makes the story tainted. I don't think it should be read by children because the abuse situations and the language. The reason I say this is that it is on every recommended book list for WWII for children! Anyway, the story is a good one but intense. A girl who is not wanted by anyone but the nanny, loved only by her grandparents discovers an escaped German pow. She has to make a choice of either helping him or turning him in. The fact that she is Jewish doesn't help the matter. If it was cleaned up a bit...this book would be a good one.
One of the best books I have ever read! Feb 6, 2008
This is my favorite book of all time. I love the characters, the story line and the historical facts. Patty is a strong girl who is out of place in her small town and unappreciated. Anton is sweet and understanding and helps Patty realize that she is worth something. It's a tear jerker. You better have a box of tissues with you when you read this book because you're gonna cry! I highly recommend this book. I love everything about it.
An adult's review of an excellent book Dec 11, 2007
My daughter is now too older and far too accomplished a reader in her own right to need or want me to read to her, but I wish I had known of this when we were still reading together. I read this for a couple of reasons. As a native of Little Rock I wanted to read what is perhaps the most celebrated juvenile novel to have come out of my home state. Second, I have seen it highly praised and wanted to see if the praise was justified.
The praise was indeed justified. The novel is about a 12-year-old Jewish girl living in a small fictional town in northeastern Arkansas named Jenkinsville. As far as I can guess it is somewhere between Forrest City and Memphis. Wynne is mentioned as a nearby town. Looking at a map I would guess Jenkinsville is approximately where Parkin, Arkansas is. The protagonist of the novel is Patty Bergen, who is as isolated as a child can be. Her mother is unrelentingly critical of her while her father is both dismissive and physically abusive. At the time of the action of the novel she is virtually friendless as well, with most of her friends off at Baptist summer camp in the Ozarks (as any Arkansas Baptist would know, Siloam Springs). And as a member of the only Jewish family in town, she feels religious alienation as well. In the course of the novel only a few people seem friendly toward her at all. Her grandparents in Memphis give her a kind of love that her parents deny her. The black family maid and cook acts as a sort of real parent that her parents seem incapable of being. A Memphis newspaper reporter accords a level of respect to her that few others seem capable of. And, surprisingly, the town sheriff seems truly compassionate. But most of all a young twenty-year-old German prisoner of war helps her more than anyone else believe that she is "a person of worth." The book is filled with ironies as the two people who help her most with her sense of self-esteem are a black maid and a German prisoner, just as it is ironic that his is most aided by that same black maid and a young Jewish girl.
This is a deeply affecting, moving novel. Patty is a deeply flawed, yet wonderfully realistic character. She has a habit of telling petty lies that partly serve to garner her respect that others deny her and partly to force others to pay attention to her. The scene in which she is forced to go for a horrible perm on a blisteringly hot day is a chillingly vivid and realistic portrait of what would seem like hell to a small girl.
As others have noted, this is on many levels a sad book. But it is also, I think, an optimistic one. One can't help but believe that Anton, Patty's German soldier, was right: Patty is a person of worth. It is difficult to believe that she didn't turn out well after the events of the novel and that what made this possible for her was what others helped her realize about herself. In the short run, one imagines things got worse for her. As Ruth, the black maid, told her, her parents were "irregular" or "seconds," meaning that just as some pieces of clothing were sold cheaply because they didn't measure up, so Patty's parents never had and never would measure up. One can sense that Patty's home life remained bleak and unhappy, but that she still was going to turn out all right. She was, she had learned, a person of worth.
I recommend this to adults as well as younger readers, but I especially recommended parents reading it to their children. It isn't just a great read, it raises a host of difficult and fascinating questions.
Note: I was right! I just read an article about Bette Greene and learned that she was raised in Parkin, Arkansas. I think it is safe to assume that Parkin is the real Jenkinsville.
Still love it at 26 years old... Aug 16, 2007
This is a great book. Any young girl with a romance streak will be drawn in by the forbidden love element. But this isn't just a dumb romance novel. Patty has to choose between her family and community and Anton. Great coming of age story. Still one of my favorites!