This World War II mystery set in the occupied Netherlands demonstrates the horrors of the Holocaust.
Recommended grade level: 7-11
Pages: 309 (for ISBN 9780316260602)
Summary: 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.
Who will like this book?: Mysteries and Holocaust books both have large audiences, so this should be a good fit for a lot of people. The Dutch occupation and grassroots resistance are both interesting, less common topics.
Who won’t like this book?: It’s fairly slow-paced as wartime fiction goes, with action interspersed with healthy doses of internal conflict. It may not appeal to fans seeking tension or excitement.
Other comments: This is a Holocaust book that does not any any point take place in a concentration camp. It doesn’t shrink away from portraying suffering and death, but it’s also not the most disturbing Holocaust book out there.
Readalikes: Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus is about a teen boy’s resistance in occupied Norway. There is of course the classic The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. A good deal of nonfiction titles talk about Nazi resistance, such as We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance That Defied Adolf Hitler by Russell Freedman, Courage and Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and Survivors in World War II Denmark by Deborah Hopkinson, The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Chruchill Club by Phillip M. Hoose, and Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust by Doreen Rappaport.