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Free Study Guide for Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene

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It is a Saturday afternoon and Patty is excited that she will be able to work at the store, without her parents telling her to go home. Patty dresses in her favorite dress, brushes her hair and heads off to the store. On her way to the store she hears bits and pieces of the war news from Mr. Henkins. Patty eagerly listened. Upon her arrival to the store, she eagerly told her father of the news she heard.

Patty’s mother does not want her working in the store and tells her to go run and play with Edna Louise. Patty then lies and tells her mother what a good saleswoman she has been: That she sold twenty-five dollars worth of merchandise to one customer.

Patty’s mother is disappointed in Patty’s appearance and decides to call Mrs. Reeves to perm Patty’s hair. Patty objects but her mother makes the appointment anyway. Patty’s father is embarrassed by Patty’s outburst in the store and threatens to hit her if she does not leave immediately for Mrs. Reeves house. The chapter closes with Mrs. Reeves giving Patty a permanent wave.


There are a few differences in this chapter than the others, thus far that should be noted. At the start of this chapter, Patty is described as dressing herself in her favorite dress, followed by brushing her hair. In the previous chapters Patty has not been seen in a dress and she has even noted that she wished she had brushed her hair, when she met Anton. We see Patty gradually becoming more attentive to her appearance.

This is also the first time when Patty’s father seems pleased with the news she brings him, regarding the War. When Mr. Blakey comes into the store and asks her father if he has heard the latest news he replies, “Patricia told me about it” (73). Patty feels honored that her father actually acknowledged her.

Patty then tries to please her mother as well, but her mother immediately asks about Sharon. Patty’s mother also tells her to go and play with Edna Louise, when Patty had previously told her that she was at Baptist camp for the summer; this is an example of how Patty’s mother does not listen or give any attention to her. This often causes Patty to lie and embellish stories. She tries to coax her mother into letting her work at the store by telling her that she had sold twenty-five dollars worth of merchandise to a customer; Patty’s best sale has barely been eighteen dollars.

Patty’s mother, again disgusted by Patty’s appearance, makes an appointment for Patty to have her hair done. Patty objects and even tells her mother that she does not like her. This is the first time, thus far, where Patty has openly expressed her hated toward her mother.



Patty has finished setting up her hideout. As she is gazing out the window she sees a man running by the train tracks. She recognizes that it is Anton and runs to go catch him.

Later that evening, at dinner Patty’s mother and father fight about the store and its profits.

That night Patty sneaks into the kitchen to try and pack some food for Anton but her father awakens and tells her to get back in bed.


Although this chapter is pretty vague, its main job is to foreshadow the events of chapter eight. It is not assumed that Patty is housing Anton in her hideout until she tries to sneak him food later that night. We also are not totally sure why Anton was seen running by the train tracks; however, the time period and the fact that Anton was a POW, indicates that he was escaping from the prison camp.

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