Girl in the Blue Coat

Monica Hesse

It is the year 1943, and the German army has invaded Amsterdam. Hanneke, an 18-year-old young woman, keeps herself and her family afloat by finding and selling goods on the black market. She does all this under her protective parents’ radars. Day in and day out, Hanneke seeks to find items her clients ask for until one request is much different and stranger than what she has gotten before.

As she is making a routine delivery, regular customer Mrs. Janssen asks for Hanneke’s help. Expecting Mrs. Janssen to inquire about the findings of more meat or other goods, she is shocked when she hears that Mrs. Janssen wants her to find a person! To be exact, her name is Mirjam Roodveldt and she is a 15-year-old Jewish girl. Not only alarmed at the odd request, Hanneke is aghast that Mrs. Janssen was hiding someone in her house. A Jew. The punishment would be immediate deportation with her life on the line.

Although Hanneke has promised herself not to get involved, she can’t help but be pulled into this mystery. How could a frightened girl leave when there seems to be no way she could have left the house? And why? As she dives deeper down into this dangerous puzzle, Hanneke entangles herself in a story no one has yet to uncover.

Reading this historical fiction book was exciting yet educational. Girl in the Blue Coat was entertaining as well as emotional and mysterious. It left readers guessing how, and why, at every turn of the page. This book dove right into the plot with the right level of backstory. I highly enjoyed the plot as well as the characters, storyline, and genre. – Juliana M.

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Maud

Melanie J. Fishbane

 

For the first time ever, a young novel about the teen years of L.M. Montgomery, the author who brought us ANNE OF GREEN GABLES.

Fourteen-year-old Lucy Maud Montgomery — Maud to her friends — has a dream: to go to college and become a writer, just like her idol, Louisa May Alcott. But living with her grandparents on Prince Edward Island, she worries that this dream will never come true. Her grandfather has strong opinions about a woman’s place in the world, and they do not include spending good money on college. Luckily, she has a teacher to believe in her, and good friends to support her, including Nate, the Baptist minister’s stepson and the smartest boy in the class. If only he weren’t a Baptist; her Presbyterian grandparents would never approve. Then again, Maud isn’t sure she wants to settle down with a boy — her dreams of being a writer are much more important. But life changes for Maud when she goes out West to live with her father and his new wife and daughter. Her new home offers her another chance at love, as well as attending school, but tensions increase as Maud discovers her stepmother’s plans for her, which threaten Maud’s future — and her happiness forever.

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