Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity

Paperback - 2013
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Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.

When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called "a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel" in The New York Times, Code Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.
Publisher: New York : Hyperion, 2013
ISBN: 9781423152880


From Library Staff

The story of two best friends--one a pilot with the Air Transport Auxiliary, the other a Scottish spy--who meet while working for the British war effort in 1943. A beautiful, gut-wrenching testament to the power of female friendship.

Also one of my favorite audiobooks of all time, this book is full of surprises and twists. Maggie and Queenie meet in the European war effort against the Nazis, one training to become a spy, the other to become a pilot. When Queenie is captured and becomes a Nazi prisoner, her torture brings out ... Read More »

This is a wonderful tale of friendship and amazing courage. There are scenes of heartbreak and torture, but this story will stay with you for a long time.

This book is hard to read at times but it is worth it. An incredible story of two friends - Verity and Maddie - and their courage at the hands of the Nazis.

In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage.

From the critics

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Aug 21, 2017

The slow beginning almost lost me but eventually the story snuck its way into my mind and heart. What is truth? What will you do (or not) to be true to yourself?
I appreciate the author's last words: LEST WE FORGET

samdog123 Aug 02, 2017

Although I found the book hard to get into, I couldn't put it down after the last third of the book. Well-researched, this book give a great glimpse of the role women played in the second World War effort.

ELPLTeenLibrarian Jun 30, 2017

I certainly hope you don't try to read this anywhere you can't ugly-cry for hours. This book is meticulously researched and features beautiful characterization + the kind of expertly sustained tension that makes "I'll put it down after I finish this chapter" a running joke that lasts the entirety of this reading experience.

May 22, 2017

What I liked:

* the fast pace--something interesting was always happening
* the story of a beautiful friendship
* learning about life in wartime Britain & France

What I disliked:

* the unrealistic idea that the Nazis would allow a prisoner to write such a lengthy diary
* the unrealistic use of American spelling in British women's diaries

Apr 01, 2017

This is a great book! Very well researched. It was extremely informative and insightful. The ending was quite unexpected. Though the beginning was sort of slow and I wasn't a WW2 expert so some of it was confusing for me, I would still recommend this book.

Mar 24, 2017

An outstanding book! It took me about 40 pages to get involved, and then I couldn't put it down! Be sure to read the sequel "Rose Under Fire"!

Dec 14, 2016

Code Name Verity is an amazing book, and there is no other way to put it. It is separated into two parts, one part for each of two best friends. The book tells the tale of two best girl friends during World War Two, how they met and how each is doing their part to help the war effort. While the book is bittersweet, it is frighteningly well researched very well written and organized. I ended up suggesting this book to my 50-something year old mother from England, who adored this book as well! All in all an amazing book, I highly recommend this book to history nerds!
- @PerpetuallySleeping of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Harriet_the_Spy Dec 07, 2016

Just an amazingly good YA novel, great for adults too. Great twisty plot, lots of action, and young women who know what they're worth and how much they have to offer.

Sep 06, 2016

I read this book once and I need to read it again.
Keep in mind I read it on my phone (not the ideal way to read a book, ever) so I don't think I got the full experience, because Code Name Verity is written in various formats. (Hence the need for a second reading.) There were times when the novel was boring and bland and I skimmed a LOT, but it definitely deserves the 4-star rating. This is mainly due to how I teared up several times toward the end. If a book can make me do that, then it's a good one by my standards. My only/main problem is that even though I like Maddie, I feel like there was wayyyy too much text spent on her. I love her, but I don't really think she's the ideal choice for a narrator.

Anyway, the negative points I brought up are definitely outweighed by the strength and emotional impact of this novel, and I would highly, highly recommend it!! Just beware that it will certainly pull at your heartstrings.

Jun 27, 2016

The characters were very realistic and offered an insight into everyday war-time britain.

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Add a Quote

Jun 21, 2015

"Nothing like an arcane literary debate with your tyrannical master while you pass the time leading to your execution."

Jun 13, 2014

"Fly safely."

Aug 20, 2013

“Don't know how I kept going. You just do. You have to, so you do.”

Aug 20, 2013

“Nothing like an arcane literary debate with your tyrannical master while you pass the time leading to your execution.”

Jul 16, 2013

Kiss me Hardy.

Mar 29, 2013

"'Fräulein Engel, you are not a student of literature," he [von Linden] said. The English flight officer has studied the craft of the novel. She is making use of suspense and foreshadowing.' _ Golly, Engel stared at him. I, of course, took the opportunity to interpose with pigheaded Wallace pride, 'I am not English, you ignorant Jerry bastard, I am a SCOT.' _ Engel dutifully slapped me into science and said, 'She is not writing a novel. She is making a report.' _ 'But she is employing the literary conceits and techniques of a novel.'" Pg 57 ( _ = new paragraph)

Mar 29, 2013

"So then we had a genial argument about Orwellian socialism. He (v.L.) disapproves (obviously, as Orwell spent five months battling the idiot Fascists in Spain in 1937), and I (who don't always agree with Orwell either but for different reasons) said that I didn't think my experience as a scullion exactly matched Orwell's, if that was what v.L. was getting at, albeit we may have found ourselves working in similar French hotel basements for similar rates of pay (Orwell's somewhat higher than mine, as I seem to recall he was given an allowance of a couple of bottles of wine in addition to raw potato peelings)." Pg 86

Mar 29, 2013

"Maddie [was] nothing if not mechanically minded and trained to react positively to orders from people in authority" pg 66

Mar 29, 2013

"'If you're scared, do something'" pg 66 and 94

KOUJOKAKYUU Jan 29, 2013

“It’s awful, telling it like this, isn’t it? As though we didn’t know the ending. As though it could have another ending. It’s like watching Romeo drink poison. Every time you see it you get fooled into thinking his girlfriend might wake up and stop him. Every single time you see it you want to shout, You stupid ass, just wait a minute and she’ll open her eyes! Oi, you, you twat, open your eyes, wake up! Don’t die this time! But they always do.”
― Elizabeth Wein, Code Name Verity

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Add Age Suitability

Oct 30, 2015

lvornbrock thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 12

Jan 25, 2015

wildefae thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

KOUJOKAKYUU Jan 29, 2013

KOUJOKAKYUU thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add a Summary

olive_bird_01 Jul 22, 2015

In WWII Britain, one girl becomes a pilot, another a spy. What happens next will test the limits of their heroism and their friendship.

olive_bird_01 Jul 22, 2015

In WWII Britain, one girl becomes a pilot, another a spy. What happens next will test the limits of their heroism and their friendship.

Jun 23, 2015

This book tells the story of two girls, Julie and Maddie, fighting in World War II. Both recruited for different roles in Special Services, Julie ends up getting captured by the Nazis, and writes out a complete confession in exchange for more time, while Maddie escapes and attempts to save her friend.


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May 22, 2017

Violence: Trigger warnings: This book is set during WWII, so it includes wartime violence. One character is taken prisoner by the Nazis and tortured. There are mentions of suicide attempts and suicidal ideation.

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