Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Girl in the Blue Coat

It's 1943 in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, and Hanneka is a black market supplier.  She knows how to find pretty much anything. One day when she arrives to make a delivery to an elderly lady, she finds Mrs. Janssen waiting for her with a request.  It's not coffee or cigarettes.  It's a Jewish girl.

Miriam is the only surviving member of her family, and Mrs. Janssen has been hiding the girl.  The problem now is that Miriam has disappeared.  How did she leave without anyone noticing, and why would she give up safety?

At first, Hanneka wants nothing to do with this.  She finds black market goods.  It's all about profits and supporting her family, but she can't stop thinking about this lost girl in a city of enemies, and almost without realizing it, she begins to think about how she would go about finding Miriam.

There aren't many clues to what happened or even to Miriam's personality, but with each new bit of information, Hanneka creates an image in her mind.  It doesn't take long before she feels a personal connection to the girl and becomes desperate to find her.  The search brings her in contact with a world even more dangerous than the black market, the resistance movement.   How much of her own comfort and security is Hanneka willing to risk to find the girl?

Monica Hesse's new book is pretty much perfect.  It's a well-crafted mystery with plenty of twists and a breadcrumb trail of clues.  Plus, it's a well-written tale of the Holocaust for any reader.  Hanneka's growing awareness of the true evil of the Nazi agenda will resonate with readers and draw them along with her.  Highly recommended!  There is nothing too graphic here, but it might appeal more to older kids.

No comments:

Post a Comment