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Summer of My German Soldier (Puffin Modern Classics) Paperback – April 20, 2006

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Editorial Reviews


Courageous and compelling! -- Publishers Weekly

From the Publisher

The summer that Patty Bergen turns twelve is a summer that will haunt her forever. When her small hometown in Arkansas becomes the site of a camp housing German prisoners during World War II, Patty learns what it means to open her heart. Even though she's Jewish, she begins to see a prison escapee, Anton, not as a Nazi, but as a lonely, frightened young man with feelings not unlike her own.

In Anton, Patty finds someone who softens the pain of her own father's rejection and who appreciates her in a way her mother never will. While patriotic feelings run high, Patty risks losing family, friends -- even her freedom -- for this dangerous friendship. It is a risk she has to take and one she will have to pay a price to keep. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Puffin Modern Classics
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reissue edition (April 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142406511
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142406519
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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".


Website: http://www.bettegreene.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bette.greene

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 6, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I just read "Summer of My German Soldier", by Bette Greene. I thought that this was a really terrific book. It is the story of Patty Bergen, a Jewish girl in the South during WWII, who makes friends with a Nazi soldier. She makes friends with him because she her parents are mean to her and she wants companionship and love. This was a wonderful book with characters so real that I could feel what they were feeling and think what they were thinking. After reading "Summer of My German Soldier", I had tons of questions about the book and about the author. I wanted to know if any of it was based on a true story. I also wondered if Bette Greene's life influenced her to write the book in any way. So I did some research on the internet, and I found out that there's a webpage about the author and the book! It's at bettegreene.com and it has tons of useful and interesting information. Plus, you can email Bette Greene about her books! I recommend that you read this book and look at the website to get answers to the questions I know you'll have.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 7, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Summer Of My German Soldier is an interesting book, I actually watched the movie first and than read the book. This is about Patty a 13 year old Jewish girl growing up in a small southern town during World War II and in this little rural town there is a prisioner of war camp for German POWs and Patty comes from a rotten dysfunctional home in which her cruel father is an abusive drunk who for some reason hates her and is always beating her up and her mother is an uncaring wimp who also hates her but for some reason Patty's parent's love and adore her little sister Sharon and the only love Patty gets is from the family's black housekeeper and than Patty meets an escaped German POW who it turns out was forced into the German Army and hated Hitler and she strikes up a friendship with him and he is kind to her. This is a sad but good book though I have heard that it and the movie are considered to be controversial. The book was turned into a made for TV movie in 1978 and the cast for the movie includes Kristy McNichol as Patty, Bruce Davidson as Anton the escaped POW, Ester Rolle as Ruth the housekeeper, Michael Constantine as Patty's father, Barbara Barrie as Patty's mother and Robin Lively as Patty's little sister Sharon. The movie is available on video and Amazon is offering it though I think it's out of print so you would have to look for used tapes.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By zugenia on July 1, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book made me cry and cry when I was a kid, maybe 10 or 11 years old. For years, whenever anyone has asked "What's the saddest book you've ever-" I've said "Summer of My German Soldier" before they can even finish the question. My point is that, when I recently picked it up to see how it holds up all these years later, I was predisposed to be moved. That said: I began the book the other day, and didn't stop until I'd reached the end. And I cried and cried and cried. And cried. Let me state for the record that I don't cry easily at books. But this one is devastating. It wasn't like there was one climactic moment that let me get it all out in a cathartic rush; no, it is just quietly brutal from start to finish, in this mounting way, as it unfurls the bleak story of a talkative, unloved girl in a cruel, unloving world. It's the kind of world in which the little flashes of kindness and love actually hurt more than they offer relief. I hadn't remembered it like that. But I guess that's an appropriate way to narrate life in a small town in 1940s Arkansas.

Anyway, this book has definitely ensconced itself in my list of lifetime tearjerkers, along with "The Body" episode of Buffy, and Disney's The Fox and the Hound.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
The most exiting event in the history of Jenkinsville occurred that summer day when a Prisoner of War camp was set up just outside the city. The Nazi's that had been depicted as evil people that would kill someone as soon as they looked at them turned out to be young, kind-faced men with blond hair. Patty Bergen was Jewish and her father owned a department sore on the main street of the town. One day she was in the store when the prisoners with money in hand came to buy hats for work in the field. Patty went to help one of the prisoners whose name was Frederick Anton Reiker and discovered that instead of wanting to buy a hat with his money he wanted to buy a pen with fake diamonds on it. Not long after their first meeting, Anton escaped from the prison camp and fled but before he caught the back of a departing train, Patty saw him and invited him to stay in the room over the garage until the war was over. But, one day Anton saw Patty being beaten and he ran out to stop the attack, but Ruth, the housekeeper saw him rush out from the garage. Even though Ruth would not tell a soul about it Anton decided it was too much of a risk on Patty's part and he left that same night. After Anton had been gone for months a man named Mr. Pierce asked Patty a fair amount of questions and after hearing that Anton had died she let everything out. After that she had to go and live with her grandmother for a while until the time of the trial. The judge sentenced her to no less than four months in a reformatory for girls and there she stayed for the time. I enjoyed this book because of how the story of how it was depicted.

I thought this novel was quite engaging because of how Patty changed over time. At the beginning of the story Patty is reckless and had low self-esteem.
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