Twelve-year-old Patty is a Jewish girl growing up in rural Arkansas near the beginning of World War II. A group of Nazi POWs are incarcerated just outside her town. One of the POWs, Anton, escapes from the prison and becomes friends with Patty. Patty is drawn to Anton because he is intelligent and nice to her. Patty’s life is turned upside-down when people learn she concealed and helped a Nazi.
Summer of My German Soldier Bette Greene is at times disturbing. The scenes of Patty’s father beating her for no real reason other than she exists were a bit graphic. Patty’s life in general was quite sad. The age difference between Patty (12) and Anton (22) was a bit odd given all the talk about love. The results of Patty’s actions in helping Anton were upsetting. The pacing is slow. The book really makes you think, however. What’s so bad about a Jew helping a German? In 1941 America, most people thought, plenty. Enough, in fact, to arrest a 12 year old little girl.
4 (out of 5) Stars
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