January 31st, 2014


Book Review: Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein

A girls' adventure in World War II.

Code Name Verity

Disney-Hyperion, 2012, 343 pages

Code Name Verity is a compelling, emotionally rich story with universal themes of friendship and loyalty, heroism and bravery. Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during World War II: one a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted friends. But then a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France. She is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. The story begins in Verity's own words, as she writes her account for her captors.

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Verdict: Code Name Verity gets most of its mileage from being about daring girls doing dangerous things, and as a World War II story it's quite good, if decidedly juvenile. Not too juvenile — it's grimmer than most YA. But while ideal for a teenage reader, it probably will not satisfy an adult reader of war stories.

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