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Girl in the Blue Coat
Cover of Girl in the Blue Coat
Girl in the Blue Coat
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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...
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...
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  • 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, gripping novel about bravery, grief, and love in impossible times

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Monica Hesse, a columnist at the Washington Post, is the author of several acclaimed books. including Girl in the Blue Coat and American Fire.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 25, 2016
    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.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 4, 2016
    In 1943 in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, Hanneke tries to survive by selling black market items. One of her customers secretly asks for her help in finding a Jewish girl she had been hiding who had mysteriously disappeared. In searching for clues, she gets involved with the Resistance movement, risking her life to find the missing girl and defy the Nazis. Narrator Payne has a clear, youthful voice well-suited to Hanneke, conveying both her inner strength and her tension and fear in dangerous situations, as well as her mourning for her boyfriend who died in the war. She does equally well voicing other characters, including an authentic German accent for the soldiers who repeatedly stop and question Hanneke. The suspenseful and moving story will keep listeners riveted. Ages 12–up. A Little, Brown hardcover.

  • AudioFile Magazine Natalia Payne's flat narration captures the detached emotions of 18-year-old Hanneke. In occupied Amsterdam, Hanneke carefully distances herself from the clients for whom she provides black market goods. When an elderly widow asks her to find a Jewish girl in a blue coat, reticent Hanneke is plunged into a mystery that soon involves her with a resistance group. Experiencing Nazi brutality, she relives past hurts, grief, and regrets, making the reasons for Payne's emotional remove clear and contrasting Hanneke's personality with the increasingly violent setting. At the peak of the horror, Hanneke's honesty emerges, and Payne's reading becomes more emotional. Suzanne Toren's authoritatively voiced author's notes follow, as well as a conversation with the author, narrator, and editors. S.W. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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