‘Code Name Verity’ by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity 12851538

by Elizabeth Wein


343 pages

Pub. Date:   May 5, 2012

Book received from:  Purchased


Genre:  YA Historical Fiction/ WWII Fiction

Cover:  Simple and really gets the feeling across.  Although, I do like the UK edition as well, as it tells the story very well.  As far as the paperback release, it misses the feeling for me.  (See below)

Characters:  Perfection.  So many sides and so much to tell.

Tagline:  I have told the truth.  (UK tagline)

Quote:  “But a part of me lies buried in lace and roses on a riverbank in France-a part of me is broken off forever. A part of me will be unflyable, stuck in the climb.”

First Line(s):  “I am a coward.  I wanted to be heroic and I pretended I was.”

For Fans Of:  The Book Thief,  Bomb Girls (TV show)

Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Worth the read?  Absolutely.  The writing is so very different.

From the Cover:  ‘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.

The Short & Sweet of It:   Code Name Verity really surprised me.  In the first half, I grew to love the Scottish lass with the fiery temper and many names, a.k.a. ‘Verity’.  In the second half, I was eager to learn of her friend Maddie’s  (the pilot) version and perspective.  Together, we get the whole story of what led the two young women together, and what tore them apart.  The genius of this book is that the author does not let on what is real and what is not until the very end.  So, as ‘Verity’ is telling her story and giving up code to the Gestapo in order to stay alive, we do not know what is truth or fiction.  It is through Maddie’s story we are able to sort through the complex web of lies and truth ‘Verity’ has woven.

There were a couple times that I felt the pace was a bit slow and I really was wonder where in the world this all was going.  However, in the end, I realized that if I had stopped reading, I would have been missing out on such an amazingly coded and complex story.  The friendships developed in the story are unlikely and mostly out of necessity, which adds to the beauty of it all.  Without a doubt, there are several strong female characters that are forever bound together in the fight for freedom and truth.

This book would be perfectly paired with The Book Thief for the classroom or for personal explorations into the tensions and experiences during WWII.  Real, raw, and astutely humorous, Code Name Verity deserves all the praise it has garnered.

Awards & Honors

Michael L. Printz Honor Book of 2013

 2012 Boston Globe-Horn Fiction Honor Book

School Library Journal Book of the Year

Publisher’s Weekly Best Books- Children’s Fiction

YALSA Best Books for YA- Top Ten

Amelia Bloomer Booklist for YA Fiction

Agatha Award Nominee- Best Children’s/YA Novel

Edgar Award Nominee- YA

GoodReads Choice Nominee- YA Fiction

Carnagie Medal in Literature Nominee

For more info & to purchase:

Author Site

Barnes & Noble



UK Edition:                                                                                                                                                                                                     US Paperback:




One thought on “‘Code Name Verity’ by Elizabeth Wein

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