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Girl in the Blue Coat

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  26,633 ratings  ·  3,326 reviews
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.

Hardcover, 309 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Helen Maltby Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is pure fantasy. There is very little historical basis for it and in fact damages people’s understanding of the Holocaust. …moreBoy in the Striped Pyjamas is pure fantasy. There is very little historical basis for it and in fact damages people’s understanding of the Holocaust. Holocaust education charities advise that it should be avoided at all costs and research has shown how damaging it is when it comes to students’ perceptions of what happened. Girl in the Blue Coat is very well researched and reveals some of the horrors of what went on in occupied territories such as the Netherlands. (less)
Shannon Fish
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
Maybe closer to a 4.5*

This book engrossed from the beginning, maybe partially because it made me think of my own relatives and their experiences in occupied Netherlands. There were little things that reminded me of stories I’d been told and so I had a personal connection to the story. The story itself was very well done, though the ending was a bit confusing and hasty. The characters were very realistic so I came to really care for them and really enjoy the book overall.
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
4.5 stars!

This powerful novel caught my eye when I took my son to a preschool library class – it was calling to me from the library display shelf. I began reading it while my son was playing in the group and even though I am drowning in ARC’s that need to be read and reviewed, I couldn’t leave the library without this book in my hands. I was engrossed in this unforgettable tale from start to finish!

This captivating story revolves around Hanneke, a teenage Dutch girl who, in 1943, spends her day
Kelly Hager
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh, you guys, this book. This book made me cry at least three times, and yes, I will admit that I hugged it when I was done.

I don't want to tell you anything about it except that it is about bravery and cowardice and friends and enemies and heroes and villains and how each of us can encompass all those things.

The long and short of it is that you need this book. You need to read it and you need to make your friends read it.

Highly recommended.
“But when it comes down to it, we all die alone.”
― Monica Hesse, Girl in the Blue Coat


Well, this was good, a well written novel with an interesting plot, but nothing mind blowing, I mean, I personally found the main character to be a bit annoying and unlikable, and i didn't feel particularly touched by this story, but other than that, I guess this was worth the read.
Elyse  Walters
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Edgar Award Winner for Best Young Mystery Novel in 2017.

Hanneke -
......a young woman in the Netherlands during the German occupation- is asked to help find Mirjam, a missing young ‘Jewish’ girl she ‘doesn’t’ know from ‘adam’. There is back story too.

A complex journey begins of suspense...
....much courage, love, loss, betrayal, self discovery .. redemption...all the ‘feelings’.... sad moments!
It’s war - heartbreaking- real lives ... the history is ‘is’ real... the story ‘feels’ real.

The c
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
At 18, Hanneke Bakker trades goods on Amsterdam's thriving black market to help support herself and her parents. This war has made the unconventional normal. It's also taken its share of victims, including Bas, Hanneke's boyfriend and the boy she planned to marry. Hanneke is left with guilt and sarrow after Bas's loss. She encouraged him to join the Dutch army in what turned out to be a suicide mission. By 1943, she exists in survival mode, not wanting to get too close to any of her black market ...more
In the Note on Historical Accuracy at the end of the book, author Monica Hesse writes that she “wanted to tell a story of small betrayals in the middle of a big war”. In this novel, she has certainly achieved that goal.

Girl in the Blue Coat is a deeply moving story set in Amsterdam in 1943. Much more than a work of historical fiction, there are many intricacies, questions and mysterious twists that the reader is looking to solve along with the narrator, Hanneke. There are so many memorable chara
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
Nothing less than 5 stars for this book but I will deduct ½ star because certain things about the ending could have been a bit better, for me. It’s still a wonderful book and I did love it. 4 ½ stars

I read this as a buddy read with my Goodreads friend Diane. I could have easily read this in 2 days, maybe 3, maybe 1, but I had a lot more time to read than my buddy did, so I tried to slow myself down. I’ve enjoyed all my buddy reads with her so it was worth it to at least try to stay as in sync as
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Didn't like the protagonist, Hanneke, much. Considering it's a YA book I guess it's in character to be self-absorbed and not very empathic though.
The story was historically accurate, which always makes me very happy. Except I just could not understand why this search for this Jewish girl took place. There was no real reason and in 1943 it was far too dangerous to start a search because someone asks you to.
I didn't get any further than 3 stars until I came to the end. The plot was well built up a
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Girl in the Blue Coat" by Monica Hess is a YA WW II historical novel that will appeal to a wide scope of readers.

Through Hanneke, the protagonist, the heart is the historian. She suffers great loss when her boyfriend dies as a soldier during the German invasion of Amsterdam. Hanneke also carries the greater burden of guilt that she had convinced him to enlist. Part of her is missing because of the death of Sebastian, her first love.

She hides her suffering from everyone and tries to bury hersel
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got from Amazon Vine.
*plenty of Jewish characters, but they’re almost negligible in the story of their suffering
*Ollie is gay and in a relationship with his roommate

Maybe I’ve finally overdosed on World War II YA fiction? There are more than just a few examples of novels that fit that category, but I don’t think I’ve been so underwhelmed by such a novel as I am with Girl in the Blue Coat. It’s… Well, finding words to describe what’s w
Dec 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Can one ever read too many World War II novels?
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww2, around-the-world, ya
I thought this was a well written YA novel set during the German occupancy of the Netherlands in WWII. It's told through the eyes of Hanneke Bakker, an eighteen year old whose boyfriend was killed fighting during the German invasion. She is involved in finding and selling black market goods to the wealthier people in town but then becomes involved in searching for a missing girl. This causes her to cross paths with a group of young people involved in the resistance and she sees for herself what ...more
Oh my god... What an incredible read. If you like historical fiction, pick up this book in April!

Overview: Hitler's invasion of The Netherlands has taken everything from Hanneke. The war has forced her to make her living dangerously by selling goods in Holland's black market. Her dealings taken an even deadlier turn when a client asks her to find a missing Jewish girl, Mirjam, that she'd been hiding in her pantry. Hanneke's own experiences of loss compel her to risk it all and find the girl in
Lindsay (pawsomereads)
This was a really captivating read that provided a lot of historical perspective while weaving an intriguing story of friendship and loss.
I got sucked into Girl in the Blue Coat so quickly. It was interesting from the very beginning and gets right into the action. Set in Amsterdam during World War II, this book follows Hanneke, a Dutch teenager selling black market items as her own little form of rebellion against the Nazi invaders. When one of her buyers elicits Hanneke’s help in finding a Jew
This book was The plot was honestly fine, in fact, it was a rather enjoyable storyline that had lots of twists and a surprising ending, filled with lots of mystery, but besides the plot I didn't enjoy much else.
1. The characters were bland and their motivations didn't seem plausible at all. Hanneke, at the beginning, was cold and unsentimental, and then for a reason that made no sense she had a change of heart.
2. It always makes me super uncomfortable when historical fiction novels
Cold War Conversations Podcast
Powerful and poignant YA historical fiction.

Set in German occupied Holland the story is told through the eyes of Hanneke a young teenage girl who works on the black market. In the course of her work around Amsterdam she is asked to find a missing Jewish teenager.

Impeccably researched and at times very moving Girl in the Blue Coat is a very readable story about the frailty of human nature through love, hate, jealousy, and friendship.

Monica Hesse knew little of the period or the location, but thro
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I was reading Girl in the Blue Coat, I was afraid it was going to be another World War II historical fiction novel without heart. I’m a sucker for a good historical fiction novel, and World War II is my favorite subgenre of it. I’ve read books I’ve loved (Code Name Verity, The Librarian of Auschwitz) and others that I’ve thought were overhyped (The Nightingale). The beginning of the novel had me interested, but it lost me as soon as a romance storyline seemed to be a possibility. The characte ...more
Patty (IheartYA311)
I'm impressed. I read this in a weekend. It held my attention the entire time and was never boring. A twist of an ending! Heartbreaking, delicate and intricate. A rare 5 out of 5 from me! ...more
Feb 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who are interested in WWII
Shelves: 2021-reads
The Girl in the Blue Coat was a wonderfully intriguing, heavy, and page-turning historical fiction. I have to admit I am not a history person and I very rarely read historical fiction, but I really enjoyed this.

The plotline of this story was extremely well done. I thought that the storyline was very original and read like a mystery book. The writing was nothing special but I thought that fit for the story and I didn't really notice it when reading (because I was too immersed in the story).

I am
Apr 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Girl in the Blue Coat was chosen by my book club in 2016. It was a book I probably wouldn't have otherwise read although I'm a big fan of historical fiction. The plot was interesting and had some good twists. Overall, I enjoyed it. ...more
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the first historical fiction mystery I’ve read and I loved it so much!!! It really got me out of my reading slump and kept me intrigued until the end! I definitely recommend if you’re just getting into historical fiction.
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
Raven Lucero
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
Primarily, I would like to make it clear that this is not the worst book I've ever read, and from the looks of it, other people seem to have a high opinion of it. I was originally going to give it three stars, but when I looked back on it, the absolute absence of anything enjoyable made me reconsider. I don't even really hate it, other than a few things that irked me; there's just nothing redeemable for me.

So, what's it about Girl in the Blue Coat that gets under my skin? Why am I not gushing ov
A very well written and moving young adult book which tells the story through the eyes of a young dutch woman living in Nazi occupied Amsterdam. The characters were engaging and realistic, they gave me a good insight into what life was like for young people at that time. There were some notes on historical accuracy at the end which made the story even more poignant. I feel that the sadness of the book and the emphasis on relationships would probably be more of interest or suitability to a slight ...more
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this fast-paced story with interesting historical elements. The setting, WWII Amsterdam, introduces us to new information about the resistance in Holland and how they handled the Nazi invasion. It’s written in 1st person from the eyes of Hanneke, who is not likable for a big chunk of the story but undergoes a change. The ending is not what I expected with a huge plot twist and a bit confusing for me. Girl in the Blue Coat is not my favorite historical fiction, but I did like it. 3.5 s ...more
Sherrie Miranda
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Customer Review
5.0 out of 5 stars
I couldn't stop reading!
Reviewed By Sherrie Miranda on September 8, 2017
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best stories about Nazi Germany's invasion of other countries that I have read. I didn't want the story to end, but I couldn't stop reading!
I felt every character as if they were neighbors, people I wish I could have known.
Hess is an amazing historical story teller. There was nothing stuffy or overly-historical in this story. I loved all the characters, esp
Krista Regester
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Even though I'm not a huge historical fiction fan I really liked this book. (view spoiler) ...more
Kaitlyn Abshire
Aug 11, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
On one of her routine black market deliveries, Hanneke receives a strange request from one of her clients, Mrs. Janssen. Find a young Jewish girl that Mrs. Janssen has been hiding. Knowing how much danger searching for a Jewish girl could put Hanneke and her family in, Hanneke initially refuses to help Mrs. Janssen. However, Hanneke changes her mind and agrees to search for the Jewish girl. Her search opens her up to a world that she never knew existed.

After reading Wolf by Wolf last year and c
May 04, 2018 rated it liked it
During WW II there are many people and countries that were apart of the horror. The Netherlands lost more than 2,000 servicemen when the country was invaded. Over 100,000 Jews were eliminated or 3/4 of the Jewish population in the country. This story brings home the truth that at any given time the same person can be a hero or a villain. That when one's life or family is on the line it is not always a black or white decision. Hanneke is helping her family by transporting black market items when ...more
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UCAS English 11 R...: February Book Review 2 5 Mar 06, 2019 07:15PM  
Mock Printz 2022: September: Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse 9 103 Oct 06, 2016 09:56PM  

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Monica Hesse is the national bestselling author of the true crime love story American Fire, and the historical mystery novel Girl in the Blue Coat, which has been translated into a dozen languages and won the 2017 Edgar award in the Young Adult category. She is a feature writer for the Washington Post, where she has been a winner of the Society for Feature Journalism's Narrative Storytelling award ...more

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