Bette Greene

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 166

Some of the finest books about World War II devastate … simplistic conceptions and emphasize that no life may be held cheaply and that there must be regard for the enemy. These books portray acts of compassion that do not recognize enemy lines and that unite human beings despite the inhumanity of war.

One book, exceptional for its portrayal of this theme as well as for its sensitively developed characterizations, is Bette Greene's Summer of My German Soldier…. To some, the story of a Jewish girl harboring a Nazi casts aspersions on the loyalty of all Jews and uncovers barely concealed feelings of anti-Semitism. For others, however, the story of an act of compassion between a Jewish girl and a German boy becomes symbolic of the love that is possible even amidst the callous atrocities of war. (pp. 310-11)

Myra Pollack Sadker and David Miller Sadker, "War and Peace," in their Now Upon a Time: A Contemporary View of Children's Literature, Harper & Row, Publishers, 1977, pp. 286-317.∗

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