A lot or a little?
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that 2013 Printz Honor Book Code Name Verity takes place in the darkest days of World War II, with two teen U.K. girls on a covert operation for the Allies imperiled after they crash-land in Nazi-occupied France. Author Elizabeth Wein pulls few punches as she describes the grim realities of war, the Resistance, the nasty details of Nazi torture (including via cigarette), and an otherwise heroic Resistance leader who can't keep his hands off any female within reach. Characters face terrible dangers, and some die horribly. There are bursts of foul language ("f--k," f--king," "s--t," etc.), with British variants and often translated into French and/or German.
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What's the story?
It's 1943, and two teen girls become best friends when their unlikely skills prove valuable to the Allied war effort. As the book begins, the two of them, pilot Maddie and spy "Queenie," have been forced to crash-land in France. Queenie, having fallen into the hands of the Gestapo and been tortured for weeks, strikes a bargain -- information for a less painful death -- and writes for the Nazis the story of Maddie, herself, and their adventures. As the plot unfolds, nothing and nobody are entirely what they seem.
Is it any good?
Sure to land on many best-of-2012 lists, CODE NAME VERITY is well written, intricately plotted, full of surprises, and as harrowing as it is compelling. Maddie, Queenie, and some of the supporting characters are unforgettable and will stay with readers long after the last chapter has been read.
With a wealth of historic and literary detail, as well as an unblinking look at bad things happening to good people and heroic cleverness in the face of hopelessness, Code Name Verity will appeal to many adult readers as well as teens.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Author: Elizabeth Wein
- Genre: Historical Fiction
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, History
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
- Publication date: May 15, 2012
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 17
- Number of pages: 352
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Award: ALA Best and Notable Books
- Last updated: September 25, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love historical fiction and strong female characters
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