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Girl in the blue coat
2016
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A grief-stricken procurer of black-market goods in World War II-era Amsterdam is compelled to help a desperate neighbor track down a missing Jewish teen who had been hiding from the Nazis. Simultaneous eBook. 30,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)

"In 1943 Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, teenage Hanneke--a 'finder' of black market goods--is tasked with finding a Jewish girl a customer had been hiding, who has seemingly vanished into thin air, and is pulled into a web of resistance activities and secrets as she attempts to solve the mystery and save the missing girl"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

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. - (Baker & Taylor)

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.
- (Grand Central Pub)

Author Biography

Monica Hesse is an author and journalist with The Washington Post. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and their dog. - (Grand Central Pub)

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Booklist Reviews

*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—a 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—that they make everything so current, just like real life—could 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. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews

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.

Kirkus Reviews

A political features writer at the Washington Post turns to teen fiction and delivers the goods. World War II Amsterdam, the world of Anne Frank: because most readers know it through that lens, it's imagined as a claustrophobic, invisible world. Hesse's debut novel turns the story around: "Aryan poster girl" Hanneke spends her days cycling through her occupied city, using the ration cards of the dead to play the black market for her undertaker boss. Hanneke knows things are bad, but her own guilty grief—her boyfriend died in the futile fight against the Nazis, and Hanneke blames herself for pushing him to fight—blinds her. When one of her clients asks her to find a missing Jewish girl, 15 and vanished from Mrs. Janssen's hidden room, Hanneke stumbles into a pocket of the resistance and begins to understand the depths of the horror facing her country and the immensity of the Nazi evil. Hesse's impeccable research meshes almost seamlessly with Hanneke's present-ten se narration, bringing the time and place to life. Rich in content and emotion, this is a first-rate companion to the historical tales of the onderduikers, the hidden Jews of Holland, and a compelling read despite its mildly rose-tinted resolution. Shelve this one beside resistance tales like Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity (2012) and read next to a box of tissues. (Historical fiction. 12 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2015 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

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. Agent: Ginger Clark, Curtis Brown. (Apr.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC

School Library Journal Reviews

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

[Page 100]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Reviews

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

[Page 100]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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