The Historical Fiction novel Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Greene takes place during World War II. It describes the life of a twelve-year old girl, Patty Bergen. This book concentrates on the relationship between Patty and her new friend Anton, a German escapee. Patty meets her new friend in her father’s shop, when a troop of POWs enter the store. The two protect and teach each other thought the story. In this review, readers will discover what it’s like to live during the time of Theodore Roosevelt and World War II.
12 year-old Patty Bergen, living in Jenkinsville, Arkansas during World War II, meets a German POW, Anton Rieker, when he purchases items at her father’s department store. She then agrees to hide Anton above her families’ garage, and steal food from her family to feed him. Soon enough news breaks out that a German POW has escaped, which puts the whole town on edge. Patty and her family are questioned. As Anton continues to live above the family garage, Patty becomes very angry with Anton because he had not asked her to leave with him after the war. Patty then realizes she needs to make a decision within her; she needed to choose between her father and Anton, she feels if turns Anton in her father will become popular and will love her, but Anton won’t. But soon enough her decision was made.
Later that evening, Patty met Anton in the hideout with intentions of leaving with him, but was told otherwise. Before Anton jumped into the train, he gives her a kiss and a valuable ring that has been in his family for generations. When Anton left, Patty wore it around her neck as remembrance. When Patty begins to show it off she is questioned, she tells several people that “I saw this man walking down the road…”, “He asked me if I lived nearby and if I could spare a piece of bread with maybe a bit of butter on it.” (140) “Well, after he finished eating he thanked me and said that because I was obviously a person o value he was going to reward me with his most valuable possession.” (140) Patty confessed and soon found out what happened to Anton .Patty is charged and sent away, she ends up losing the one person she has left.
Readers will find the different elements of the book attention grabbing. If you (the reader) are interested in romance, important lessons and danger this is a book for you. But the reader may not like the beginning of this book; it becomes useless to the plot of the story. When Patty meets Anton the story accelerates. “Now it so happens Aunt Dorothy is no beautiful thing.” (29) Upon completion the reader will find, as my example shows, the begging of the novel is pointless. As a reader, the middle of the story was more intriguing to me. A future reader that is interested in the time of World War II and the time of Theodore Roosevelt will also enjoy this novel. Though the book does not specifically explain this era it still is considered a part of it. I recommend this to risk takers, romantic novel readers and history involved book readers.