Girl in the Blue Coat
Girl in the Blue Coat

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Annotation: Hanneke, a procurer of black-market goods in 1943 Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, is compelled to help a desperate neighbor track down a missing Jewish teen who had been hiding from the Nazis.
Catalog Number: #147296
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 301 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-26063-0 Perma-Bound: 0-605-98942-7
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-26063-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-98942-9
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2015020565
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
In 1943 Amsterdam, Hanneke nurses a broken heart--her boyfriend has died in the war--while delivering black market goods (foodstuffs, cigarettes, etc.) to her neighbors. One customer, Mrs. Janssen, implores Hanneke to find a missing girl whom the woman had been sheltering, leading to an engaging mystery that shakes Hanneke from her emotional stupor. An author's note includes useful information about the Dutch Resistance.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up In Nazi-occupied Holland, Hanneke seems like an ordinary girl working at a funeral parlor to help support her family during wartime. But her Aryan features and charming smile allow her to work as a courier on the black market smuggling cigarettes, meat, and other unavailable items to paying customers. While Hanneke is not a member of the Dutch resistance, her actions are a direct result of the loss of Bas, her boyfriend. Lying about his age, he enlisted and died on the frontlines during the German invasion. When one of her best customers asks for her assistance in finding a Jewish girl she was hiding, Hanneke is stunned. But soon after, she is drawn into the mysterious disappearance of the girl in the blue coat. What she uncovers as she searches for answers leads her on a journey of self-discovery, self-realization, and redemption. Hesse crafts a thought-provoking and gripping historical novel. The themes of love, betrayal, heroism, social responsibility, and atonement are beautifully intertwined with well-developed characters and a compelling story line. Thoroughly researched, this work brings history alive in a clear and concise way that rings true. VERDICT A must-read for fans of historical fiction, especially stories set during World War II. Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Amsterdam, 1943: in the wake of the German occupation of Holland, 18-year-old Hanneke has begun trafficking in the illegal black market, finding scarce goods like food and alcohol to sell. But she is taken aback when a customer implores her to find a person instead missing Jewish girl in a blue coat. Hanneke's reluctant decision to help sets in motion a chain of events that dramatically changes her life and the lives of others and raises the question, should she find the missing girl, what then? Hesse, a Washington Post journalist, does a fine job of reportage in this affecting novel. Her characters come alive, and what one of them says about photographs at they make everything so current, just like real life uld describe the book itself, which is adept at verisimilitude, creating a closely observed setting that skillfully combines reality with fiction. Speaking of fiction, Hesse's pacing infuses her story with thriller suspense, enriching the narrative with dramatic surprises both small and large. As one character muses, "Nothing in this war is what it seems." Ultimately, Hesse takes her readers behind a misleading surface to discover the lurking truths.
Voice of Youth Advocates
Eighteen-year-old Hanneke is mourning the death of her soldier boyfriend, Bas, and is surviving the German occupation of her native Netherlands by operating in the black market. She is the only support for her parents whose jobs have disappeared. One of her customers pleads for her help in locating Mirjam, a young Jewish girl whom she had been hiding but who has vanished overnight. Hanneke reluctantly agrees to help and finds herself pulled into the Dutch resistance movement. As she becomes more immersed in the resistance, Hanneke comes to grips with her anger and remorse over the loss of her best friend, Elsbeth, who married a handsome, young Nazi soldier and her feelings of guilt concerning Bas's death.This fast-paced story is alternately touching, heart-pounding and wrenchingbut always gripping. Hanneke's gradual inclusion in the resistance effort is spearheaded by Ollie, Bas's older brother. Ollie's presence and the commitment of the other resistance members force Hanneke to examine her own actions and why she agreed to search for Mirjam. Little by little, secrets emerge and Hanneke comes to grips with her losses, of both Bas and Elsbeth. The writing shows meticulous research and allows readers a fascinating look at life in occupied Europe during WWII, but remains a heartrending, moving story. Teens will relish the chance to become acquainted with this brave, flawed heroine and breathlessly tag along on her courageous journey. This author's debut historical fiction shows great promise and will leave readers eager for more.Debbie Wenk.
Word Count: 74,852
Reading Level: 4.9
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.9 / points: 11.0 / quiz: 180669 / grade: Middle Grades+
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.4 / points:19.0 / quiz:Q68375
Lexile: 720L

The bestselling, "gripping" (Entertainment Weekly), "powerful" (Hypable), "utterly thrilling" ( winner of the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery, perfect for readers of Kristin Hannah and Ruta Sepetys

Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days procuring and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, her nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded. She likes to think of her illegal work as a small act of rebellion.

On a routine delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help. Expecting to hear that Mrs. Janssen wants meat or kerosene, Hanneke is shocked by the older woman's frantic plea to find a person--a Jewish teenager Mrs. Janssen had been hiding, who has vanished without a trace from a secret room. Hanneke initially wants nothing to do with such dangerous work, but is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries and stunning revelations that lead her into the heart of the resistance, open her eyes to the horrors of the Nazi war machine, and compel her to take desperate action.

Beautifully written, intricately plotted, and meticulously researched, Girl in the Blue Coat is an extraordinary novel about bravery, grief, and love in impossible times.

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