Code Name Verity

By Elizabeth Wein,

Book cover of Code Name Verity

Book description

'I have two weeks. You'll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.'

Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, Code Name Verity is a bestselling tale of friendship and courage set against the backdrop of World War Two.

Only in wartime could a stalwart lass from Manchester rub shoulders…

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Why read it?

7 authors picked Code Name Verity as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Elizabeth Wein’s young adult novel about female friends and aviators during World War II has a jaw-dropping twist.

But it’s also a fabulous introduction to both the larger war-time history—including in England and France--and the history of women in aviation and military/ intelligence roles.

This story is a great choice for families with girls, who get to see themselves as heroines, fighters, and adventurers—roles traditionally reserved for male protagonists.

I was recently drawn to this book because of its unusual central characters—two young women, Julie and Maddie, from very different backgrounds, who become friends during WW2. Both women are doing crucial work, not being the object of desire for a man, not competing with one another. I read it in one sitting. The ingenious structure starts with a ‘confession’ by SOE recruit Julie, written under torture by the Nazis in France, which reveals the depth of her friendship with Maddie, a pilot, supposedly just transporting planes for the RAF, who ends up hiding in occupied France trying to free…

From Kate's list on young women in big trouble.

I’ll admit it: One of the things I love about spy novels is the heart-thumping intrigue they typically deliver, and Code Name Verity is, simply put, harrowing. The action begins in 1943 when a British spy plane carrying two good friends crashes in Nazi Germany. From that point on Verity is tested to the limit, and I had to ask myself again and again: What would I have done if arrested and interrogated by the Gestapo? When I look back on World War II, I am amazed by the bravery of not just the men, but women, who felt called…

From Maryka's list on intrepid women spies of World War II.

This is the harrowing story of two young women, a pilot, and a spy, in World War Two. “Fierce” isn’t a strong enough word to capture these characters and the story of their friendship, courage, and heroism amidst the horrors of the Nazi regime. It’s an intense and satisfying read that resonated with me long after I finished.

From Veronica's list on fierce young women.

Code Name Verity is one of the finest works of historical fiction that I have ever read. Set during World War II, it tells the story of two British women pilots who agree to serve as spies. When a secret mission over France goes terribly wrong, their friendship sustains them as they fight to avoid a horrific outcome. I re-read the shocking climax scene multiple times, first to make sure I’d read it right and then to marvel at how beautifully written and heartbreakingly perfect it was. Code Name Verity is layered, suspenseful, brilliantly plotted, and—by story’s end—hopeful.

From Elizabeth's list on fish out of water” historical novels.

Code Name Verity ticks a ridiculous number of boxes for my favorite kinds of books. Female friendships? Check. Puzzles and mind games? Check. Incredible writing? Check. A snapshot into something I knew nothing about (women pilots in WWII)? Check. Super-moving emotional ending that destroys me but also is deeply satisfying? Check and check again. 

This book is historical fiction, a genre that when done well is just so amazing…it brings me into a time and place I know nothing about, and connects the past to the present. There are spies, daring rescues, and friendships that transcend everything, and bravery and…

From Dana's list on when you need a good cry.

Elizabeth Wein is a pilot herself, as well as the author of award-winning books for young adults. Her knowledge of flying lends an extra sense of authenticity to this historical fiction novel set in 1943 Nazi-occupied France, when a British Lysander spy plane crashes. Onboard are two friends, a female pilot, and a spy. The book is thoroughly researched with a riveting plot; it’s an emotional roller coaster of a read.

I always encourage adults to read thematically with the young people in their lives. If you know a teen who likes to read WWII, read this with them. You…

From Deborah's list on World War II in Europe.

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