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This book is still a beautiful ache in my heart long after I finished it I don t know why it never came up in lists of recommended modern classics It is not a feel good romance, but a beautiful story of courage, friendship and love, and of a young girl learning to filter out the unkindness and prejudice directed towards her to discover the truth and goodness of love.Adolescents who are used to a diet of feel good will need to be prepared for some heart stretching, but in the long run, and with a little talking through, reading this book will help them to be better prepared to face the joys and challenges of life with courage and love www.GoodReadingGuide.com Another book I was forced to read for school and consequently now despise to the depths of my soul But really, it s crap on its own A twelve year old girl, complete with an abusive father and lacking the three c s of an interesting protagonist Confidence, Common sense, and Character , gets the brilliant idea of hiding an escaped German POW in her garage And for an added dramatic twist, SHE S JEWISH How s THAT for exciting conflict Yeah, not so much Simply put, this book made me want to vomit.Read for 9th grade English OK, I lied THIS is the worst book I ve ever been FORCED to read Note to teachers, if you make your students read this, THEN YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM Have you ever wondered why kids don t like reading It s because of books like these And, if you continue to say that this book ties in with whatever WWII lesson your teaching, then I truly feel sorry Not for the teachers, but for the students Plain and simple, this book sucks To the teachers who make their kids read this, I advise you to turn yourselves into the police, because your torturing your students.
We never read Summer of My German Soldier in class honestly, what did we read , nor have I seen the movie, so this Open Road edition from Netgalley was brand new to me I hadn t realized the main character and narrator of the story, Patty, was so young 12 my first assumption was that she was old enough for this to be acommon sort of love story.It s not what I was anticipating, but despite her youth, it is a love story, of a sort, or of several sorts It involves Patty s love for her sister, against all odds it would have been less surprising to me if she had loathed Sharon for being the apple of their parents eyes by simply existing What were the first five years of Patty s life, pre Sharon, like, I wonder Patty s love for or desire to love her parents, against even greater odds The housekeeper nanny Ruth s genuine affection for Patty, and her staunch position on Patty s side no matter what Anton Reiker, the German Soldier, is part of that facet his point of view is not only as a grateful recipient of her help but as someone who sees what the rest of her life is doing to her His and Ruth s interaction with Patty reminded me of Aibilene from The Help, constantly telling the browbeaten little girl You is kind, you is smart, you is good trying desperately to counteract the inevitable result of the horrible combination of intentional and unintentional abuse by the parents Trying to provide a life raft in a sea of self hatred.There is, to be honest, a lot not to like about Patty, at first glance which is what makes her a compelling character She a Jewish girl decides to aid an escaped German POW purely based on the fact that he was friendly to her, was attractive, and spoke excellent English, and that she was instantly infatuated with him without really knowing how to express that, even to herself for all she knew, actually knew, he could have been the deepest dyed Nazi there ever was A sheltered and affection starved twelve year old isn t exactly the judge of character I d want to rely on in this situation In fact, from the little bit I know about Nazi espionage techniques, Reiker is the sort of man most prized by the SS able to speak unaccented English, plausible and friendly seeming My hair stood on end a bit thinking about it She could have caused unspeakable damage with one thoughtless act.Also, of course, her constant lies are off putting, and a little alarming, but in the context of her pitiable desperation to do something, anything to finally reach her parents hearts they make sense It seems to be an almost instinctual response to almost any situation one which, hopefully, she can outgrow.The introduction exclusive to the Open Road edition, I think talks about Bette Greene s parents reaction to the book Couldn t you at least have waited till we were dead She apparently either evaded the question or denied outright that she and Patty were one and the same however, her parents evidently recognized enough of themselves in the narrative to be defensive and outraged They weren t brought to shame about their behavior, but were instead as always put out with their daughter that she had not hadconsideration for them I ve encountered Eeeevil Parents in a couple of books lately, and sighed over them, wantingdepth to make them realistic in Patty s parents the lack of depth is partly down to the story being told by a twelve year old She had no way of knowing any kind of motivation for how they treated her, no way to fathom the psychology She doesn t look for excuses for them she simply shoulders the responsibility for it she s not a good person and tries to make amends It s horrifying.Looking over what I ve written I see variations on the word desperate popping up And for a brief book written in a fairly light tone, centered around the suburban life of a twelve year old merchant s daughter in 20th century Alabama, there is a wrenching amount of desperation running all through it Reiker does not escape because he wants to meet up with saboteurs we hope , but because the confinement was pressing upon him, and he needed freedom Ruth is, on surface, what the Scots call sonsy she is the mammy archetype of the middle aged black servant who actually looks after the white folks children but at least one of these white folks children is in a bad way, and she has a son of her own who is at hazard Hers is, too, the constant worry of her race and position in her time and place Patty sees her mother as the consummate salesperson, able to sell ice to an Eskimo, but the little scene we are shown of a poor farmer s wife being cozened into buying not only the dress she was looking at but an ugly hat as well is almost heartbreaking in its sordidness the mother s eagerness to wring another dollar out of someone who can t afford it but who is almost as thirsty for praise as Patty the false praise being heaped on this stranger when Patty would, literally, do anything for a kind word.Love and desperation It packs a punch that surprised me, this little book. This was one of the best books that I read It had a lot of things going on in it Patty is the main character in this story She has a normal life, however, it becomes muchinteresting as it goes The setting of this story takes place during WWII It s about the POW s Prisoner s of War and how one of them escaped His name was Frederick Anton Riecker Patty see s him at the local drug store that her family owns He buys some items from her but there was something that felt special to Patty He was really nice to her and he cared about her You could tell the mood because he was trying to be nice to her because he was the only one that could speak English The main characters in this story are Patty, Anton, Ruth maid , Patty s mother and Patty s father Anton is described through direct charaterization because he gets described by the author Patty, the main character is definitely a dynamic character because she changes a lot from the beginning Ruth is a great advice giver She helps out Patty with all of her problems She had a big problem now because Patty had taken in the escaped prisoner and cared for him and they became great friends Along the way Patty faces very much adversity This is because later in the book, people find out that she is helping him She is also trying to hide him from her father who hates the German s for what they are doing to the Jewish people The rest you will have to find out in the book. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD IF U HAVE ANY SENSE IN YOU DONT READ THIS BOOKnow that thats over I tell you the truththe screaming is what you are going to be doing on every single page of this bookthere are so many things I would rather do than this, like get punched by everyone in my school or watch teletubies and dora for 1 week striat never doing anything else seriously if you see thsi book burn it and dance around the fire laughing like a maniac Reviewed for THC Reviews Summer of My German Soldier is a poignant coming of age story about a young Jewish girl from a small town in Arkansas who helps an escaped German POW, an act which changes her life forever This short young adult novel is packed with philosophical lessons on human nature that make it very difficult for me to describe, but suffice it to say that it is an amazing little book I almost wish it had been longer, to give metime to ponder its depths, but at the same time, it was nearly perfect at its current length The ending, while not happy, did contain a grain of hope for Patty s future, and I couldn t help but think that it was ripe for a sequel Imagine my delight, when I discovered that there is indeed one, Morning Is a Long Time Coming, which continues Patty s search for love and meaning in her life In fact, I probably wouldn t have been able to give this book quite as high of a rating if it had simply ended where it did That would have been almost cruel.Patty is very sympathetic as the heroine and first person narrator of the story Simply being part of the only Jewish family in town makes her unusual, but she is also a girl with an adventurous spirit and a wild imagination for making up stories Sometimes I didn t like the way she lied or embellished the truth, but as the story progresses, it becomes quite clear that she is absolutely starving for love and attention from parents who not only criticize and ignore her, but her father is also physically abusive Sometimes her imagination takes her to admirable places such as dreaming about what it would be like to have her father say he loves and respects her and apologize for all the terrible things he s done to her which was heartbreaking I thoroughly enjoyed Patty s love of books and words and how she teaches herself a new word from the dictionary every day At first I thought it rather na ve of Patty to be helping an escaped POW whom she had only met once, but I think that she simply had an open mindedness and an intuitive sense about the character of the people around her In this and other ways, she often seemed much older than her mere twelve years, but some occasional careless mistakes and comments usually brought about by that insatiable need for affection belied her callow youth Overall, I thought Patty was very brave to risk literally everything, possibly even her own life, to help a fellow human being in need, and most of all, she was an incredibly strong girl to survive all the hardships that were placed upon her young shoulders.The two characters who care the most about Patty and have the most influence on her life are Anton, the POW she helps, and her family s housekeeper, Ruth Anton is a very polite, gentle young man with a very reflective, perhaps even philosophical bent He truly seems to care about others and had planned on becoming a doctor before the war started No details on how he ended up in the SS army are given, and I found myself wondering if he was perhaps coerced as he definitely was not a true Nazi Anton showed his kindness and understanding of Patty when he gave her the most precious gift of all, that of self worth In some ways, I wish that the reader was able to get to know Anton , but it probably would have made later events in the story all theharder to take The only other person who truly understands Patty is her African American housekeeper Ruth is such a sweet, gentle lady who is nothing but kind and good to Patty She is a healthy role model and a beacon of light in what would otherwise be a pretty dark world for her More than 35 years after its initial publication, Summer of My German Soldier can still be found in the top 100 titles on the American Library Association s list of most banned challenged books of the past decade The book does contain a number of mature themes profanities are used, both a handful of mild ones as well as Patty s father taking the Lord s name in vain several times, but it does fit with his character being an extremely unhappy, violent man Patty s father brutally abuses her onthan one occasion, but it isn t rendered in a particularly graphic way on two occasions, Patty s father makes the incorrect assumption that she had sexual contact with a man, but again it is presented in a subtle rather than overt way there are a number of racial slurs against blacks and Asians which would have been consistent with the time period and setting Patty briefly wonders when her body will mature and prays to get her womanly curves there are a couple of characters who smoke and the family enjoys some wine with a special dinner, which includes Patty receiving one glass of her own While I can see how these things might be of concern to some people, I didn t feel that anything was over the top or would be wholly inappropriate for teenagers I might have some concerns about children younger than middle school age reading it, although not so much because of the content, butso because there are many complex elements that might be difficult for them to comprehend However, with a parent or educator guiding them through the reading they may be OK depending on their maturity level In general though, I think it is a wonderful book, and it would be a shame to take it out of our youth s hands.No matter the age of the reader, there are many positive things to be gleaned from this book s pages There are some solid lessons in tolerance, open mindedness, and showing care and concern for others who may be in need either physically or emotionally There was also a wonderful message about how our differences truly don t matter when it comes to love and friendship Summer of My German Soldier has a strong historical element In doing some research on the author, I discovered that the story is partially autobiographical as Bette Green s life in many ways mirrored Patty s I even learned a couple of things I didn t know about POWs being housed on U.S soil and German U Boats actually reaching our shores during the war It was interesting as well how the attitudes of some people were not that much different than those of today, a sure sign that while some things may change others stay the same Summer of My German Soldier started off a little slow, but it didn t take long for me to be hooked and wondering what would happen next Overall, I thought it was a great little story It s not the type that will leave the reader with warm fuzzy feelings, but it is one that can impart some deep food for thought to readers of all ages I know I m going to be thinking about it for a while to come It s a definite keeper for me, and I m eagerly looking forward to reading the sequel to see if Patty finally finds all that she s been searching for. &FREE PDF ↡ Summer of My German Soldier ↳ Minutes Before The Train Pulled Into The Station In Jenkinsville, Arkansas, Patty Bergen Knew Something Exciting Was Going To Happen But She Never Could Have Imagined That Her Summer Would Be So Memorable German Prisoners Of War Have Arrived To Make Their New Home In The Prison Camp In Jenkinsville To The Rest Of Her Town, These Prisoners Are Only Nazis But To Patty, A Young Jewish Girl With A Turbulent Home Life, One Boy In Particular Becomes An Unlikely Friend Anton Relates To Patty In Ways That Her Mother And Father Never Can But When Their Forbidden Relationship Is Discovered, Will Patty Risk Her Family And Town For The Understanding And Love Of One Boy From the book jacket From the minutes before the train pulled in to the station, Patty Bergen knew something exciting was going to happen German prisoners of war have arrived to make the prison camp in Jenkinsville, Arkansas, their new home To the rest of her town, these prisoners are Nazis But to Patty, a young Jewish girl with a turbulent home life, one boy in particular becomes a friend Anton relates to Patty in ways that her family never can My reactionsI didn t include all the information from the back cover, which makes this sound like a teen romance that is very misleading What it is is a novel about compassion, loyalty, self realization, courage, faith and self preservation.Twelve year old Patty is obviously not the child her parents hoped to have She is at best an average student, making mostly C s in school Her mother is constantly berating her for her unruly hair, and her lack of interest in fashion Her father insists on strict obedience and cannot tolerate her constant questioning In contrast her little sister is the apple of her parents eyes blonde, cute, always ready with a song or dance It seems that the only person who shows any love to Patty is their African American housekeeper, Ruth Summers are particularly lonely for Patty because the few friends she has from school go away to Bible camp which she cannot attend as a Jew Her grandparents in Memphis would love to have her visit, but her father won t allow it So when a handful of prisoners are brought to her parents store to buy hats Patty is intrigued by one polite young man who wants only pencils and a pencil sharpener Anton treats her with respect and she begins to fantasize about a relationship with him The way he treats Patty makes her feel, for the first time, that she is a worthwhile person, a person who deserves to be loved This book just about broke my heart Patty is such a wonderful character intelligent, thoughtful, compassionate, and courageous But she is also a child and her immaturity shows in her impetuous actions and telling of tales Still, the way she is treated by her parents and many of the other adults in the novel made me want to just throttle them Even at the end she is still feeling misunderstood and alone, yet also strong enough to possibly make it on her own one day Patty imagines herself treading water, still far out to sea, but in sight of land, and deciding that she ll try to swim for it.I know there is a sequel to this book set some six years after the end of this one But I m not sure I ll read it I kind of like the ending image of this novel. I loved this one She hides the German soldier it has Southern US setting, mother and father are absent working, only the maid finds out, but helps her Of course she falls in love with him for me very dramatic and romantic.