Monday, February 7, 2011
Retro Book of the Week: Summer of My German Soldier
by Bette Greene
To go with our romance theme for February, this is a WWII story about an American girl who falls in love with a German soldier. Patty is a 12-year-old girl living in Arkansas, and Anton is a German POW who has escaped from an Arkansas POW camp. Patty hides Anton above her garage, and becomes friends/falls in love with him, despite their age difference. The tow become friends, even though Patty is taking a big risk in helping him.
There is no inappropriate romance in this novel; Patty simply has a school-girl crush on Anton. The bigger themes are those of prejudice and self-esteem. The people in Arkansas have a huge prejudice against Anton and the other German POWs, without even seeing the men as people. Anton says in the story that he does not sympathize with the Nazi cause, and he is actually an intelligent, kind man. Patty develops her self-esteem throughout the story, learning to lover herself despite the abuse and insults of her parents.
Summer of My German Soldier may be a "retro" book, but it stands the test of time because it is historical fiction. Check it out today @ your library!