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Summer of My German Soldier [Kindle Edition]

Bette Greene
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In Bette Greene’s award–winning debut novel, a young Jewish girl in the postwar South finds herself drawn to a German prisoner of war
When the Army delivers a batch of Nazi prisoners of war to an internment camp in Jenkinsville, Arkansas, Patty Bergen is as anxious as any of her neighbors to get a glimpse of the monsters. The eldest child in the town’s sole Jewish family, Patty is lonely and isolated, spending most of her time in the company of Ruth, her parents’ black housekeeper.
Then she meets Anton Reiker, an inmate in the camp. Even though he fought against the Allies, Anton seems to understand Patty in a way even her parents never have. When Anton escapes from the camp, Patty risks everything to keep him safe—but following her heart may come at a terrible price.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Bette Greene including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.

Editorial Reviews


“This is an exceptionally fine novel . . . Armed with earned moral insight, Mrs. Greene sneaks past our conditioned reflexes satisfyingly often.” —The New York Times
“Bette Greene’s first novel is a painful yet powerful story of a young girl’s search for the strength to survive in a bitterly unhappy family, evoked against the background of a small southern town in the 1940s.” —Gay Gowdy

About the Author

Bette Greene (b. 1934) grew up in rural Arkansas during World War II, the only Jewish girl in her small town. Summer of My German Soldier, her first novel, is based partly upon Greene’s own experiences. She has won numerous awards, including the Golden Kite Award for Summer of My German Soldier, and the Newbery Honor for Philip Hall Likes Me. I Reckon Maybe. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts, and Culebra, Puerto Rico.

Product Details

  • File Size: 883 KB
  • Print Length: 198 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media Teen & Tween (September 27, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005O3PKVM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,532 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's so worth reading again. May 22, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this book when I was in the 7 th grade. I must have read it a dozen times. Then one day I was sitting down thinking of books that have made an impact on my life. I tried to describe the book to anyone who would listen, but no one could help me remember the name. Finally, I sat back and thought about it, I said to self, well it was about a little girl and a German boy. Finally it came to me. Summer of My German Soldier. I could not download fast enough. For some reason I thought the book was longer and much more intense, but then I was only 11 when I first read it, and everything seems more dramatic when you are young.

I am so glad I downloaded and read it again. I have so many highlights in this short novel. I will keep this on my kindle forever and will revisit Patti, Ruth and her horrible parents again in a few years. This is in my opinion a wonderful book to give to a young person, no matter their gender. And now at 52 it might not be the book I remember as a child but the message is still the same. 4 stars!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelming For Me January 5, 2013
By Kat
Format:Kindle Edition
Patty Bergen is the eldest daughter of the Bergen family, who run the department store in the small town of Jenkinsville, Arkansas. For reasons known only to themselves, the Bergen's' treat Patty as more of a nuisance than a daughter, bestowing all their love and affection on their younger daughter, Sharon. Patty isn't the most popular girl in town, and being Jewish sets her even further apart from her peers. After watching German prisoners of war being transported to the nearby POW camp, a chance meeting with one young soldier sets the scene for Patty's story.

Summer of My German Soldier explores themes of 1940's America and the effect of the war on ordinary Americans who, naturally, view the Germans as the enemy and have no tolerance, nor understanding for young soldiers who have ended up in a country where they do not speak the language, far from their homes.

Although I enjoyed the story, I was slightly disappointed with the ending, which was quite abrupt. I would also have liked to know more about what happened to Patty and some more insight into her family and the reasons behind their behaviour.

Written simplistically, yet emotionally it is hard not to feel sympathy for Patty and the situations in which she finds herself. It is also hard not to like Patty, who despite her difficult family life dreams of a future where she can be free and independent, at a time when children were expected to be seen and not heard. Shocking in parts and touching in others, Summer of My German Soldier is a book in which most of us could find things in common with our younger selves.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A heart breaking classic June 20, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I first read this book as a teenager (many years ago now) and I was pleased to see it available in Kindle. After re-reading it, I fouhnd it as fresh today as it was 30 years ago. I have passed it on to my own teenage daughter and she also loved it. The heroine, an awkward and unattractive young teenage girl, is a misfit in her small town, disliked within her own emotionally cruel and repressed family. Perhaps it is only her own loneliness and vulnerability that lead her to conceal and aid an escaped prisoner of war, a young German soldier. I don't think these were her only motivations, though. I think the author managed to convey that Patty had a capacity to see the German soldier as a human being (unlike the bigoted reactions of others), and her willingness to risk her own life to save him brings to life the old adage about beauty being from within. The ending is very tragic (and I did warn my daughter of this before advising she read it) but at the same time it is very real, especially in the context of social mores and beliefs of that time. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed "The catcher in the rye" as capturing nearly perfectly the angst of the unpopular and disliked teenager.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Summer of My German Soldier Book Review January 27, 2013
By A.L
Format:Kindle Edition
Mesmerizing, addicting and unforgettable. I guess there could be more words that describe this book, but then I would have written my own novel. Summer of My German Soldier written by Bette Greene captures a heart felt story of a twelve year old's forbidden love.
Bette Greene spins you around a story about a Jewish girl named Patty Bergen that just so happened to stumble upon a new beginning of her boring life when a camp full of German Soldiers arrived in Jenkins Ville. Hatred for the Nazi's were burning. What Patty didn't expect was that she would be harboring one of them. As her love for her German soldier grows, lies are made and trusts are to be broken.
While I was reading this book, it seems that Bette Greene has already brought me back in time where a slice of cake would cost only thirty cents. This book is recommended for readers who like to get lost in words of romance, rebellion, and adventure all mixed together. This isn't just your average cliché love story so forget about the "Twilight Series" or the "The Notebook" because Summer of my German Soldier will leave you speechless.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sad and Astounding March 14, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book made me love reading again!!! I couldn't put it down...a sad eloquent love story that will transcend time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A childhood favorite October 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Loved this as a kid, but I don't think it has quite the same impact as an adult. I still enjoyed it though.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as good as I remember!
Really good book. I remembered it from when I was a kid and it held up well. It was just as good as I remembered it to be. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Shelly Riggle
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 2 months ago by Nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars Life is tough
An eye opener to what makes people do the things they do. Had her father ever once been kind let alone loving, she may not have NEEDED to find it elsewhere. Wonderful book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mary
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for all readers
This book is one of my favorite from when I was younger. I've read it several times and admire the bravery and compassion.
Published 2 months ago by simplicity
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved it!
Published 3 months ago by Leslie
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy read with wonderfully developed characters
Easy read with wonderfully developed characters. Also a good historical portrayal of our perception of Germans in WWII. I'll read more by this author.
Published 3 months ago by Mary H
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Story
I was a child during WWII. I would never in my young mind have believed such a friendship could develop. German prisoners were brought to the USA to work on farms. Read more
Published 3 months ago by E a black
3.0 out of 5 stars It was amazing at the beginning
It was amazing at the beginning! But when Anton died, nope, I stopped there and never finished it. And the fact that the girl (I forgot a name) was 12 and Anton was 22, I was like,... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Riley Beni
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A sad but probably truthful story,
Published 4 months ago by Sadie Thompson
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed the read!
I can relate to the characters in the book. I too was an awkward child and my mother was the beautiful, strict, intelligent, disciplinarian. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Cathy Navo
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More About the Author

Bette Greene's award-winning classic novels will be celebrating 40 years in print!

As an award-winning author, screenwriter and news reporter, Bette Greene is read worldwide in over 16 languages. Bette continues her legacy of writing and speaking for the victimized. Within the heartbeat of her storytelling and the realism of her prose lies Bette's demand that her readers feel what she feels and sees what she sees, taking us beyond our differences.

As the 20th century's youngest professional news reporter, Bette published her first news story at age eight. Bette Greene's first book, "Summer of My German Soldier", won the first "Golden Kite" award. This same novel outsold Prince Charles' book in his own country.

Bette Greene holds the honor of being the only author included in "Writers of Holocaust Literature", without having been a victim of the Holocaust.

As a 21st century master author, Bette Greene uses the social media platforms to reach out and touch her readers, Gen-X, Y and Z. According to critics, Bette Greene has given a voice to the voiceless, changing the course of young adults' literature in America.

For nearly 40 years, Bette Greene's books have been banned, censored and challenged. The theme of Bette Greene's award-winning library is always the same - Bullying!


* Summer of My German Soldier: Golden Kite Society Children's Book Writer's Award, New York Times Outstanding Book Award, ALA Notable Book Award, National Book Award Finalist, Massachusetts Children's Book Award.
* Them That Glitter and Them that Don't: Parent's Choice Award, Parent's Choice Foundation.

*Philip Hall Likes Me, I Reckon Maybe: New York Times Outstanding Book Award,
New York Times Outstanding Title Award, ALA Notable Children's Book Award, Child Study Association Children's Book Award, Kirkus Choice Award, Newbery Honor Award.

* Summer of My German Soldier, The Film: Emmy-Award & Humanitas Prize Award film promoting human dignity, meaning and freedom

Bette Greene's literary library includes: "Get On Out Of Here Philip Hall", "I've Already Forgotten Your Name, Philip Hall!", "The Drowning Of Stephan Jones".



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