Flashback Friday was started over at Lovely Little Shelf (the awesome book blog of an NBC friend of mine). It’s a chance to revisit some of our favorite childhood reads and talk about why we loved them.
I first read the Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene in the 9th grade. I remember being excited about it right away because I’ve always been drawn to stories centered around WWII.
GoodReads Description: This 1973 National Book Award finalist tells of a 12-year-old girl who befriends a Nazi soldier, who is imprisoned in a World War II camp in her small hometown in Arkansas
Further summary- I decided to write a tiny summary of my own since those supplied on GoodReads and Amazon are completely inadequate. The story follows 12 year old Patty, an American Jew, during WWII. A turbulent home life causes young Patty to have very little self-worth, but that all changes when she meets Anton. Anton is an escaped German POW who Patty hides in her father’s garage with the assistance of the families “help” Ruth. The story follows the struggles of Patty and Anton, whose relationship grows despite their religious and cultural differences, during one of the most turbulent times in US history.
The themes in this book are important and heart wrenching and I think it’s an important book for high school students to be exposed to. You deal with everything from race issues, child abuse/neglect, religious beliefs, the morality of war, death and family responsibility to first loves, acceptance and tolerance.
There is so much depth to this story and I hope it’s one that will continue to be mandatory reading for all high school students.