Monday, June 11, 2007

The Summer of my German Soldier by Bette Greene

Patricia Bergen has an interesting summer when she turns twelve. The town of Jenkensville, Arkansas becomes the home of a camp for captured German soldiers. And on one of their trips into the store that Patricia’s family owns she meets one of them named Fredrick Anton Reiker. He is the translator for the bunch so that they can buy hats. Little does Patricia know that the time she spends with him that day will not be the last. After he escaped from camp, she hides him in her background and brings him food. He is the only friend she has and that friendship will cost her everything.

The story that Bette Green writes is full of emotions. I could tell it was a dated story but at the same time she wrote the characters very well. The storyline was great and easy to follow. She had a difficult topic to talk about but I found it very interesting. One of my favorite things was that she would write how a person would talk for the colored folks as they were referred to in the book.

Patricia really did not have an easy life. Between the fact that her parents didn’t care for her since they thought she was ugly to being a Jew who wanted to help a German soldier in hiding from the authorities. She always seemed to find herself in some kind of trouble. Her housekeeper Ruth was a sweetie. She really looked out for Patricia while her parents seemed to have more important things in mind. Her sister Sharon was the favored one since she looked so much like her mother and I found that to be rather harsh. Anton was a sweet heart and so civilized. I was completely impressed with him.

This was a great book but again I could see why it would be challenged since it had a lot of foul language as well as repeat use of a slanderous word towards African Americans. I was appalled at how much it was used but that is what it was like during that time. I give this book a 4/5. I was upset with the ending even though I knew it was not going to be happy. I think things should have been different but then again I was not born during that time. I could have had a completely different reaction. But all in all, I was impressed and look forward to reading the sequel, Morning Is A Long Time Coming.

199 pages/Banned/Young Adult/ New Author

Well I was hoping to finish up Dedication today but was not possible. I will most likely finish tomorrow evening and will post my review then and then after that I have 2 romance stories to read and review. :)


Literary Feline said...

Great review!

I read this one when I was in the 8th grade as a reading assignment. I enjoyed the book so much I never returned it. Terrible, I know! This one and Farewell to Manzanar which I had to read the same year . . . Haha My only foray into thievery.

I don't recall the language of the book, only that I really enjoyed the story. Your review does bring back memories. :-)

Lover of Books said...

It was a really great story! I never kept a book but I do have one that I lost in my room. I still have it because I paid for it. lol My mom kept our "school" library pretty well stocked. :)