Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Publication: May 2012
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein is a suspenseful and moving work of historical fiction about two best friends who find themselves trapped in Nazi-occupied France during World War II. Maddie, a civilian pilot, and “Verity,” a special agent, narrate a tale of friendship, despair, and perseverance as they try to accomplish their respective missions or die trying. After their plane crashes, the girls confront numerous challenges along the way, ranging from Nazi torture tactics to the gender limitations in a mostly male combat zone.
As Wein notes in her “Author’s Debriefing,” Code Name Verity contains an abundance of historical information and gives great insight into life during World War II. The book is divided into two parts; each friend narrates her individual role in the larger story. Although the reading level of the novel is appropriate for high school, the structure of the novel and the use of British colloquialisms add to its complexity. However, the vivid writing and strong female characters make this novel a good fit for the right students.