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Content Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity
by Elizabeth Wein
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (May 15, 2012)
Buy the Book: Amazon
Oct. 11th, 1943—A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. Code Name Verity is an outstanding novel that will stick with you long after the last page.

  • Profanity:  Heavy
  • Sexual Content:  Mild (Moderate dialog)
  • Violence:  Heavy
  • Other Notables:  A small amount of religious content
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Code Name Verity is a book that is filled with intense action and emotion. It takes the reader through the countrysides of Scotland, England and France during the early 1940s as World War 2 rages. We are given glimpses into the lives of 2 young women who find themselves caught up in the military efforts of Britain. Maddie has a love of flying and puts her passion to work by ferrying pilots and planes to airfields around England. Julie's aristocratic upbringing and fluent German give her the ability to gather information from unlikely sources. The girls' passions and patriotism bring them together in a friendship that is strong and unforgettable.

On a secret mission to France, Julie is arrested by the Nazis and held in a former hotel. She is tortured for information about wireless radio codes, airplanes and airfields. The first part of the book is written from Julie's perspective as she writes to satisfy the demands of her captors. We read all that she describes for Hauptsturmfuhrer von Loewe, cringing with horror at what she endures and hoping against hoping that she will be rescued. The second part of the book is told from Maddie's point of view as she goes through the same time period. We hold our breath as she hides from Nazi soldiers and urge her on as she tries to find her best friend.

This is not an easy story to read but it pulls you in and won't let go. As I got into it, I couldn't put it down wondering what was going to is it going to end. But then as I got closer to the end I almost didn't want to finish it. I didn't want it to end, to close the door on Julie and Maddie. These two are wonderfully full characters who bring reality to life in the middle of war. I am quite impressed with the research and humanity that Elizabeth Wein brought to the book. There is violence associated with wartime and torture. There is also some language but I never felt that the profanity was just thrown in for shock value. It seemed realistic given the setting. I would definitely recommend this book especially to fans of historical fiction.

Subpages (1): Code Name Verity Content