Summer Of My German Soldier. Michele Eick Due: 11/3/11 Period: 8. Summary.
In her Dad’s store one day she met a German prisoner of war (POW). His name was Frederick Anton Reiker and he was the only German POW who could speak English. During the summer Patty made a hideout for herself, but one day she looked out the window and noticed that Anton was running. Anton escaped the prison and Patty let him stay in her hideout. Throughout the summer Patty brings food to him every day and they spend time together. When the news is spread around town that a prisoner has escaped, her father is interviewed by the FBI because the prisoners came to his store the day Patty met Anton. As time goes on Patty feels the need to choose between her father and Anton. Her choice is easily made for her when she starts asking her father questions about his day and he yells at her to stop. That night Patty packs some things and goes to the hideout, but Anton says she can’t come with him because it is too dangerous. He leaves her with a ring that is a family heirloom to remind her how special she is and how much he loves her. Her story is eventually revealed to an FBI agent and she finds out that Anton was killed because he was evading arrest in New York. Now that they know she was helping Anton they arrest her for treason and she has to go to a reformatory school for four to six months. Ruth, the African American housekeeper who has been more of a mother to her than her actual mom, visited Patty at the school. Ruth told Patty how important she was and that her parents were wrong. Ruth said she loved Patty and that Patty was the generous and kind one. They discuss Patty’s future of going to high school and college to become a reporter. And when Ruth leaves is when the book ends.
Patty is a twelve year old girl who is looking for acceptance. Her family is Jewish in a Protestant neighborhood and they are a wealthy family. Throughout the story she tries to please her parents over and over, but they tell her she’s a failure and that she is a disgrace. On many accounts her father beat her in the book because of something she had said or done. Her mother has always either neglected or insulted Patty, but always took care of her younger sister, Sharon. Sharon is loved and adored by their parents. Ruth, the housekeeper for the Bergen’s, loves Patty like a daughter. Ruth truly cares for Patty throughout the entire story. Anton also cares for her because she helped him hide and because he has come to know how kind Patty is. Charlene Madlee is a reporter that comes to town, but when Patty runs into her she starts thinking about becoming a reporter. Madlee helped Patty start thinking about a life that didn’t involve her parents and the restraints they had on her.
Patty is going against anything normal during that time because this was during World War II when the U.S. became involved. Patty lived in Jenkinsville, Arkansas. She was Jewish, hiding a German prisoner, and was friends with an African American. This was definitely not accepted then. Patty was also struggling because her parents didn’t show that they loved her.
The book was interesting and captivating. At first I thought it was going to be boring, but I really enjoyed it. The book was told in first person by Patty, but when Ruth was speaking it was hard to read sometimes. The author, Bette Greene, did an amazing job writing this book. I would recommend this to others.