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Girl in the Blue Coat Hardcover – April 5, 2016

4.6 out of 5 stars 741 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

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


The Edgar Award Winner for Best Young Adult Mystery Novel 2017
An Entertainment Weekly Best YA Book of 2016
A Booklist Best Young Adult Book of 2016
A 2017 Indies Choice Awards Finalist for Best Young Adult Book
A YALSA 2017 Best Book for Young Adults
A New York Public Library Best Book for Teens of 2016
A Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People Selection 2017
A 2017 Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year

A 2018-2019 California Young Reader Medal nominee

2018 All Iowa Young Adults Read

"Girl in the Blue Coat is a powerful, compelling coming-of-age story set against the dark and dangerous backdrop of World War II. It's an important and page-turning look at the choices all of us--including young adults--have to make in wartime. A beautiful combination of heartbreak, loss, young love, and hope."―Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale

"A tapestry of guilt and acceptance, growing responsibility, and reluctant heroism, Hanneke's coming-of-age under heartbreaking circumstances is a jarring reminder of how war consumes and transforms the passions of ordinary life. Every devastating moment of this beautiful novel is both poignant and powerful, and every word feels true."
Elizabeth Wein, New York Times bestselling author of Black Dove, White Raven; Rose Under Fire; and the Printz Honor-winning Code Name Verity

"In an occupied city, a young woman's daring transforms into true courage when she confronts a mystifying disappearance. From page one, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Enthralling."―Judy Blundell, New York Times bestselling author of Strings Attached and the National Book Award-winning What I Saw and How I Lied

"It's no small feat to bring the past to life, especially a history as dark and desperate as World War II. Monica Hesse does just this with Hanneke's story. Brace yourself, dear reader, to have your heart bruised--and possibly even broken--in the most meaningful of ways."―Ryan Graudin, author of The Walled City and Wolf by Wolf

* "[An] affecting novel...that skillfully combines reality with fiction. Her characters come alive, and...Hesse's pacing infuses her story with thriller suspense, enriching the narrative with dramatic surprises both small and large."―Booklist,

* "Riveting... a gripping historical mystery."
Publishers Weekly

* "This fast-paced story is alternately touching, heart-pounding and wrenching-but always gripping. ...a heartrending, moving story."

* "A poignant, wonderfully crafted story of love and loss, courage and redemption."
Shelf Awareness

"Taut and intelligent... the historical setting is rendered the way only an expert can do it."
The Washington Post

Product details

  • Lexile Measure : 720L
  • Grade Level : 7 and up
  • Item Weight : 14.4 ounces
  • Hardcover : 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0316260606
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0316260602
  • Reading level : 12 and up
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 741 ratings
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