Wein, Elizabeth. 2012. CODE NAME VERITY. New York: Hyperion. 9781423152194 [Suggested Grade Levels 6-12]
REVIEWA written confession by “Verity” tells the story of two friends who become trapped behind Nazi lines in France during World War II. The early days of the war bring together two young women who likely wouldn’t have been friends in ordinary times in England. Their training takes them on different paths. Pilot Maddie crashes in France and Verity, as a spy, is captured in France almost immediately. Forced to write her confession, Verity strings along her captors in order to prolong her life. One of the two friends must make the ultimate sacrifice and learn to live with her choice.
The meeting, friendship, and consequences of the two friends are revealed in bits and pieces throughout the book told in Verity’s journal. The thriller keeps the reader wondering as events unfold and discloses the information needed to piece together the timeline. The final, poignant truth and horrors or the reality of war make this a compelling story.
This is a book of friendships and survival and the hope that ultimately keeps humanity going through the horrifying struggles of war. It expresses the depths friendship will go and brings to life a very real historical narrative.
CONNECTIONSAsk the young people about a time of great fear in their lives and have them write to describe the range of emotions they underwent and then explain the resolve they found to get through it.
RELATED BOOKSOther books for young people about women spies and World War II:
Atwood, Kathryn J. WOMEN HEROES OF WORLD WAR II: 26 STORIES OF ESPIONAGE, SABOTAGE, RESISTANCE, AND RESCUE. ISBN 9781556529610
Helm, Sarah. A LIFE IN SECRETS: VERA ATKINS AND THE MISSING AGENTS OF WWII. ISBN 1400031400
By Shirley Duke