Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Ages 12 - 17
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.
Powerful! Hesse's Edgar Award winning mystery takes you deep into Nazi-occupied Holland, as well as the lives and consciences of those who are trying to navigate the complexities of existing there. Hanneke survives by buying and selling on the black market, delivering goods to people who want and can pay for them. When one of her customers pleads with her to find a missing Jewish girl she'd been hiding in her pantry, Hanneke reluctantly begins unraveling the mystery of the girl's disappearance.
This book blew me away. The story and the characters become more and more entwined as the facts about vanished Miriam begin to surface. Nothing is expected here. Every twist and turn was a complete shock, especially the final one that actually resulted in me uttering a bad word under my breath.
Meticulously researched and terribly addicting, Girl in the Blue Coat is an amazing addition to the many heart-wrenching tales about the Jewish Holocaust, deserving of a permanent spot in everyone's library.
Profanity - None
Sexuality - Mild (kissing)
Violence - Mild (but of course there are references to Jews and soldiers dying)