Middle School / Books Rule!
Recommended books for grades 5-8

THE GIRL IN THE BLUE COAT, by Monica Hesse

blue coat

The story: Hanneke spends her days “finding” scarce things and selling them on the black market in Nazi-controlled Amsterdam. So she shouldn’t be surprised when Mrs. Janssen asks her to find a girl who’s gone missing–a Jewish girl who was hiding in a secret room in Mrs. Janssen’s house. Hanneke reluctantly agrees, not knowing that her search will lead her to far more than just the heart-breaking solution of this mystery: she’ll find people being sent to camps, people being sent to their deaths, and maybe just a little of the courage that impels her friends in the Resistance.

Liz’s comments: Here’s a more in-depth than usual look at what life was like in an occupied European city during WW2. There’s plenty of action and suspense, and even the occasional good-hearted Nazi soldier–because nothing is quite as black-and-white as it seems, in fiction or in real life.

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