Good Read: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Feb 21, 2013

We continue our occasional series previewing good reads for young adults from Katherine Farmer, Coordinator of the Racers Children's Preview Collection at Murray State University. This week's recommended read is Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, a book that The New York Times calls "a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel."

Have you ever not paid attention to the details and it led to disaster? What would you do if it led you to be captured by the Gestapo in occupied France during World War II? That is the struggle for Queenie in the 2013 Printz Honor novel Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. 

Queenie, the narrator, is a spy for the French resistance. She was captured by the Gestapo for looking the wrong way when crossing the street. For you see, she is Scottish and looked to the left as in Britain instead of right as in France. She could have tried to talk her way out of trouble, but for reasons that will eventually be discovered, she did not have any identification papers.

While imprisoned and in-between torture sessions, she is forced to write her confession. As long as she writes, she will live. Queenie writes the story of her friendship with Maddie, a pilot of the French resistance with enough hints of Queenie’s knowledge of the French  resistance to keep her alive. It is in that confession that a true friendship is discovered between a charming, funny and flirty aristocratic spy and a plain commoner pilot who is ethical, courageous and loyal. To delve more into this puzzle of a friendship and quest for survival, read 2013 Printz Honor novel Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.