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The Girl in the Blue Coat

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  14,664 ratings  ·  2,197 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.

Paperback, 319 pages
Published April 24th 2016 by Macmillan Children's Books (first published April 5th 2016)
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Francis Klopt, we hebben het boek met toestemming een jaar eerder laten verschijnen, met oog op het 'jubileum' 70 jaar bevrijding in Nederland!
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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,664 ratings  ·  2,197 reviews

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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 Sister
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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 Vegan
Nothing less than 5 stars for this book but I will deduct 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 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 p
♥ Sue
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
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, ww2, around-the-world
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
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got from Amazon Vine.
Diversity Rating: 1 – Tokenism

0 (plenty of Jewish characters, but they’re almost negligent in the story of their suffering)
QUILTBAG: 1 (Ollie is gay and in a relationship with his roommate)
Disability: 0
Intersectionality: 0

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 su
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
Manchester Military History Society (MMHS)
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
Can one ever read too many World War II novels?
Patty (IheartYA)
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
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
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
Many thanks to SDCL Santee Branch for recommending this wonderful historical, mystery/suspense YA book at their October Books and Breakfast meeting. Meetings that give patrons the opportunity to discover books that library staff have read and enjoyed, presented in a casual atmosphere of oral reviews and presentations.

This book lived up to Nancy's intriguing synopsis and praise - and then some. I was impressed by the author's writing style and skilled prowess. And doubly impressed by her abilit
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.
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
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Krista Regester
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though I'm not a huge historical fiction fan I really liked this book. (view spoiler)
Sherrie Miranda
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Kaitlyn Abshire
Aug 11, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Rebecca McNutt
There are so many fictional works set in WWII that it's sort of become a subgenre in its own right. Girl in the Blue Coat isn't hugely unique in that regard, but its writing is incredibly well-done and effective. A tale of grief, determination and resilience during a very dark point in human history, this book is one that targets YA readers with younger characters.

A harrowing story of a young woman trying to step up to do what's right in the occupied Netherlands, this book is at once both thrill
The Girl in the Blue Coat was pretty freaking good! It's about Hanneke Baker, who is 18 years old, and she trades goods within the Black Market. However, she's also fighting her inner demons throughout the book as well.

Why is she dealing with demons already? Well, she feels so freaking guilty about her boyfriends death. She feels like she pushed him into fighting a war he didn't want to and now his death is on her hands, forever.

I really thought that Hanneke was beyond freaking interesting. Yes
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UCAS English 11 R...: February Book Review 2 5 Mar 06, 2019 07:15PM  
Mock Printz 2020: September: Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse 9 102 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
“My heart will still ache sometimes. Maybe more often than not. I think it's possible to be healed without feeling whole.” 17 likes
“Maybe we can't barter our feelings away, trading good deeds for bad ones and expecting to become whole.” 13 likes
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