Girl in the Blue Coat

Girl in the Blue Coat

Book - 2016
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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.
Publisher: Boston : Little, Brown and Company, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780316260633
9780316260602
0316260606
Characteristics: 301 pages ; 22 cm

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WCLSSouthWhatcomLibrary Dec 22, 2016

Beautifully written with an intricate plot, The Girl in the Blue Coat is a memorable example of a young woman's bravery during WWII in Amsterdam. - Denise

Winner, Best Young Adult


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AJGrant129
Oct 29, 2020

This book did a great job of keeping up suspense and describing the time period without getting into any of the more disturbing aspects of the Holocaust. I am in my early teens and thoroughly enjoyed it, and I am sure that adults will as well.
I was a little bit disappointed that Ollie turned out to be gay, because I really wanted him and Judit to end up together, but other than that everything really worked out well after the big twist in the last chapters.

pacl_teens Sep 28, 2020

In 1943, Amsterdam, a Dutch teenager thinks of the war merely as a hindrance in her life. Hanneke sells items in the black market to rich people, items that are precious and expensive for common citizens during the second World War. The job pays well; Hanneke also thinks of it as an act of revenge for the death of her boyfriend at the Dutch front. She is completely absorbed in her own world of delivering and selling to rich people, of mourning her boyfriend’s death, and of remembering her best friend who married a German officer. All this changes when one of her clients asks her to look for something more than just coffee or cigarettes: a missing Jewish girl. Hanneke is hesitant to help at first; after all, apart from the money, what else is in it for her? But as she lowers herself into the mysterious disappearance of this young girl in a blue coat, she is drawn to it even more. Suddenly, things drastically change. Hanneke accidentally gets involved in the whole Dutch resistance system. She feels that she might be extremely close to finding the Jewish girl. She also realizes how small and insignificant her smuggling was, and how there are so many bigger things happening around her in the war. The fact that there are other young people like her who are trying to help and save lives, who are battling something that is so big compared to their own small individual worlds hits her. Hanneke sees the horrors of the war and her place in it.

The best thing about this book is Hanneke’s character was more honest than other young adult World War II fiction. In other such books, the main character is usually a resistance worker or a spy, or at least wants to help straight from the beginning. But Hanneke doesn’t want to get involved in the war at all in the beginning. She is mostly selfish, and does not care about the impact of her actions as long as she herself is satisfied with them. She changes later in the book, as she realizes the importance of her resistance work in the war. This self-serving is a very realistic flaw because it is impossible that everyone in the war cared and wanted to help others. This made the story more realistic. Although the book did have a few predictable teenage cliches, I enjoyed it very much. It is fairly fast-paced and is a good mix of drama and action. I would recommend it to anyone who takes pleasure in reading historical young adult fiction. -Anjani, Grade 10

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Bob_Starfishes
Oct 07, 2019

Wow! A beautiful novel, I really needed that box of tissues at end! Read it in a day, it really keeps you hooked! I loved it!

m
marylferg
Aug 15, 2019

One of the themes of the book is the "small acts of courage and cowardice" that Hanneke and the other characters make. Although this was a very meaningful theme I sometimes felt these acts to be forced or not very believable.

Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days finding and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, 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 German army invaded. Her illegal work keeps her family afloat, and Hanneke also likes to think of it as a small act of rebellion against the Nazis. On a routine delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help. Expecting to hear that Mrs. Janssen wants her to find meat of kerosene, Hanneke is surprised by the older woman’s frantic plea. She wants her 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 a dangerous task but ultimately is drawn into a web of mysteries and stunning revelations where the only way out is through.

I really enjoyed this book! It helped me understand what life was like during the Holocaust for people living under Nazi rule. I was shocked to read how people like Hanneke were living in fear. I love how this historical fiction book educated me as well as entertained me! This book is full of mysteries because you are anxiously waiting to find out if Hanneke finds Mirjam, the missing girl, or not. I would suggest this reading this book if you are interesting in learning about life during the Holocaust and mystery!
-Jennifer, Teen Library Council

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green_cat_5616
Jan 30, 2019

I picked up this book and couldn't put i down!!
The plot is so interesting, and I could solve the mystery with the characters.
If you like World War II Fiction books I recommend this one.

OPL_MichelleC Jan 16, 2019

Incredibly compelling read. Lots of twists and turns.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Sep 19, 2018

Set in Holland during World War, this novel will appeal to mystery lovers and fans of historical fiction. Definitely kept me guessing!

s
SafinaZahra786
Aug 26, 2018

Very good book!

l
LeslieKiyoung
Mar 22, 2018

amazing thriller. absolutely FANTASTIC. read this book if you like historical fiction and mystery. I was literally on the edge of my chair about to fall off and I finished it in a day.

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Age

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VanessaL52
Feb 01, 2020

VanessaL52 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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green_cat_5616
Jan 30, 2019

green_cat_5616 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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SafinaZahra786
Aug 26, 2018

SafinaZahra786 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Quotes

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OPL_MichelleC Jan 16, 2019

"I think it's possible to be healed without feeling whole."

k
KaseyNB
Apr 13, 2017

“When things come to an end in a way you didn't expect, in a way you never could have imagined, do they really come to an end? Does it mean you should keep searching, for better answers, for ones that don't keep you up at night? Or does it mean it's time to make peace?”

k
KaseyNB
Apr 13, 2017

“Maybe we can't barter our feelings away, trading good deeds for bad ones and expecting to become whole.”

Notices

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VanessaL52
Feb 01, 2020

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Hiding during Nazis rule Fast action scenes ...

v
VanessaL52
Feb 01, 2020

Violence: Life under Nazis rule

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