Summer of My German Soldier by Julia Zackiewicz
Summer of My German Soldier is a realistic fiction book taking place during World War I.
The story is told through the perspective of Patty, a Jewish girl living in a Christian town called Jenkensville. Her parents do not love her and the only friend she has is her maid, Ruth. When she becomes friends with a German prisoner of war, her life changes forever.
In the beginning of the story, Patty is a abused verbally and physically by her parents and is always compared to her little sister Sharon. Her father has self-hatred for himself that he takes out on Patty by beating her and her mother is very materialistic and is always disappointed with her appearance. Her maid, Ruth, is like a substitute mother towards Patty. Ruth is caring, kind, and supportive.
Later in the story when POW soldiers come into Mr. and Mrs. Bergen's clothing shop, Patty
meets a Natzi named Anton and, despite their differences, they immediately become friends. When Anton escapes from the prison camp, Patty decides to help him and lets him sleep in her hideout.. She brings food and clothing to him while the FBI is on the search. They talk almost
everyday and Patty falls in love with him. When Ruth finds out, she is not angry and supports Patty in her decision.
Near the end, when the search for the missing prisoner is unsucssesful, the FBI decides to go door to door searching. Patty denies knowing any prisoner at all. But the second time they come around, the show a picture of Anton. She still denies knowing him. After that, they show her a shirt with a bullet and a blood stain on it. Patty breaks down, realizing Anton had been shot and admits to helping him. The whole town and her family become angry at Patty. Patty is sent to a Girls Reformatory School.She says goodbye to Ruth for the last time.
In conclusion my opinion of Patty Bergen in Summer of My German Soldier is that she is a strong opinionated loving character. She is a friend to all,and learns from her experiences of love and grief. She is no longer afraid of being different and welcomes individuality By the end of the novel she can see her future clearly and is determined to have a bright positive one. She is less rebellious but still an independent thinker.