The bestselling, "gripping" (Entertainment Weekly), "powerful" (Hypable), "utterly thrilling" (Paste.com) 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.
Don't miss The War Outside and They Went Left, two more gripping historical novels by Monica Hesse
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Like Anne Frank, the titular Girl in the Blue Coat is a Jewish girl hiding out in a kind neighbor’s secret room. But when she vanishes without a trace, her protector, Mrs. Janssen, asks Hanneke—a street-smart teen who’s providing for her family by trading in black-market goods—to help solve the mystery. Hanneke is an exceptionally appealing heroine: strong, intelligent, and imperfect. Her observations about the Nazi occupation and the moral quandaries she and those around her are forced to navigate hit hard and ring true. Journalist Monica Hesse’s YA novel is rich, timeless, and effortlessly beautiful.
In this riveting Holocaust novel, Hesse, a journalist for the Washington Post, brings readers to 1943 Nazi-occupied Amsterdam as teenage Hanneke Bakker learns more than she ever wanted to know about the atrocities committed against her Jewish neighbors. When Hanneke, who supports her family by delivering black market goods, is enlisted by a customer to search for a disappeared 15-year-old Jewish girl named Mirjam, she tries to keep her quest an isolated concern. As Hanneke's investigation draws her into the web of systematized degradation and brutality afflicting all Jews, she recognizes that refusing to participate in the underground resistance would make her complicit with evil. Hanneke forcefully conveys the tortured emotions of citizens and city: "Fear. That's right. That was the odor I couldn't place before. That's the smell of my beautiful, breaking country." Themes of guilt and betrayal, ingenuity and courage, and the divisive effect of the occupation on friendship and community weave through a gripping historical mystery in which people and places, including the title character, are often not what they appear. Ages 12 up.
Lately, a lot of books that I read that are said to be good end up not being good. This is this first book I’ve read in a while that lives up to it’s national bestseller status. It was so raw, exhilarating and suspenseful. It had me hooked and it was a truly gut-wrenching story. I absolutely loved it and I would totally recommend it.
Best. Book. Ever.
One of the best books I’ve come across. Veryyyy Emotional, gripping and heart wrenching.