Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein

86%

79 Critic Reviews

“Code Name Verity” is unlike any book I’ve ever read before. A good book is one I enjoy as I’m reading it. A great book is one that will stick with me and, in ways, haunt me. This is a great book.
-Dear Author

Synopsis

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.
 

About Elizabeth E. Wein

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Author Bio: Elizabeth E. Wein was born in New York City, grew up abroad, and currently lives in Scotland with her husband and two children. She is an avid flyer of small planes and is the editor of the Scottish Aero Club’s newsletter. She also holds a PhD in Folklore from the University of Pennsylvania. Visit her at www.elizabethwein.com.
 
Published May 15, 2012 by Disney Hyperion. 467 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Travel, Action & Adventure, War, Science Fiction & Fantasy, History. Fiction
Bookmark Counts:
6
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Critic reviews for Code Name Verity
All: 79 | Positive: 77 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Excellent
on Feb 15 2012

The twists will lead readers to finish the last page and turn back to the beginning to see how the pieces slot perfectly, unexpectedly into place. A carefully researched, precisely written tour de force; unforgettable and wrenching.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Apr 16 2012

Wein balances the horrors of war against genuine heroics, delivering a well-researched and expertly crafted adventure.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Wolfheart on Apr 09 2015

Overall, Code Name Verity is a book that is clever, funny, bewildering, tragic and thought-provoking all at once. I know now that all the time I spent struggling on with it were truly worth it, and I am so glad that I saw it through to the end.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by HorseLover3000 on Jun 15 2013

I would recommend it to readers aged 11 and over, but with a warning that at times it is very hard-hitting. I think everyone should read this incredible and heart wrenching story of two girls.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Aiman.A on Aug 14 2012

Code Name Verity is a touching and moving novel and it has really encouraged me to read other historical novels. It isn't an easy read however I found the characters realistic and the plot plausible and harsh, like a real war.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Linda Buckley-Archer on Mar 30 2012

It has been a while since I was so captivated by a character in YA fiction, and Queenie more than compensates for any minor quibbles about structure. Code Name Verity is one of those rare things: an exciting – and affecting – female adventure story.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by HorseLover3000 on Jun 15 2013

I would rate it a 10/10, for being so amazing and intriguing. I would recommend it to readers aged 11 and over, but with a warning that at times it is very hard-hitting. I think everyone should read this incredible and heart wrenching story of two girls.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Aiman.A on Aug 14 2012

This book is superb...if a book about a tortured girl suffering in captivity, can make you, at times, laugh out loud, it has to be a stunning novel.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Linda Buckley-Archer on Mar 30 2012

Code Name Verity is one of those rare things: an exciting – and affecting – female adventure story.

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Dear Author

Excellent
Reviewed by Jayne on Aug 30 2012

“Code Name Verity” is unlike any book I’ve ever read before. A good book is one I enjoy as I’m reading it. A great book is one that will stick with me and, in ways, haunt me. This is a great book.

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Examiner

Good
Reviewed by Yael Tiscler on Jun 13 2012

It’s refreshing to read a YA novel where the primary relationship is that of friendship. Maddie and “Verity” ‘s best friendship is every bit as moving as any romance I’ve read (if not moreso).

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Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Marie Burton on May 17 2012

I was on the edge of my seat, with an anxious stomach as I awaited the fate of these Awesome Gestapo Hating Fly Girls. My adrenaline pumped for them till I couldn't stand it and I wanted to cry. And then I did cry.

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Toronto Star

Excellent
Reviewed by Deirdre Baker on May 12 2012

Wein’s story ducks and dodges ingeniously, giving us multiple double-takes and surprises, ratcheting up tension and emotional power as the story moves towards its conclusion.

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Christian Science Monitor

Above average
Reviewed by Marjorie Kehe on Dec 20 2012

Readers should be prepared for a good bit of aviation detail, but those not so inclined need not fear. Technology does not get in the way of a good story.

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Booklist Online

Excellent
Reviewed by Daniel Kraus on May 01 2012

Both crushingly sad and hugely inspirational, this plausible, unsentimental novel will thoroughly move even the most cynical of readers.

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The Bookbag

Good
Reviewed by Linda Lawlor on Mar 12 2013

Read it slowly, allow yourself to be puzzled and misled by the first section, and keep faith with these two girls as they do with each other. You'll find it's worth it.

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Pajiba

Excellent
Reviewed by lgesin on Jan 31 2013

So many books and movies deal with the horrors of that time, but Code Name Verity has one thing I've yet to come across in those stories: the strength and friendship of women during wartime.

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Teen Reads

Excellent
Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gomez on Jun 01 2012

This is the kind of book you’ll be gifting to all of your friends this year. I know I wish I could read it again for the first time, because it was so gripping I never wanted to put it down...

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Common Sense Media

Good
Reviewed by rsbrandt on Aug 22 2013

The characters are wonderful, and it's a powerful story. I would have loved it as a teen! I would recommend it to readers who are ready to digest frightening and morally challenging situations...

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Common Sense Media

Good
Reviewed by Hpotter15 on Jun 18 2013

Overall I feel this is a great read and will still interest girls who don't like historical fiction. (I know I don't) Hope this helps!

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Historical Novel Society

Good
Reviewed by Richard Lee on May 01 2012

This is as good as The Machine-Gunners and The Silver Sword, two classic war books I have recently re-read – and I think I prefer it.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Mary Quattlebaum on Jul 31 2012

In this powerful work of historical fiction, Julie and Maddie need never fear “flying alone”; the reader will soar with them until the final page.

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We Love This Book

Good
Reviewed by Richard Aird on Feb 07 2012

As expected being historical fiction, the period detail provides depth and accuracy, but the novel also benefits from the author’s personal love of flying and is filled with many technical details about aircraft too...

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Salon

Good
Reviewed by Laura Miller on Aug 08 2013

While “Code Name: Verity” is a more uplifting novel than I expected during those first few chapters, you still may have a hard time seeing the road through your tears.

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Marjorie Ingall on May 13 2012

...the torture scenes are fairly graphic, and the period detail is dense. I could have done with a little less information about vintage airplanes and ballpoint pens...

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BookDragon

Excellent
on Sep 18 2012

A book with so many layers (did I mention meta?) needs to be read first for the spectacular story that it is, then combed through at least again for the literary accomplishments it achieves. Verity is veritably WOW.

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City View

Excellent
Reviewed by Julie Goodrich on Apr 03 2013

This book serves as a reminder that young-adult literature has a lot more to offer than vampires, can be exceedingly well-written and can indeed cross the generational gap. Don’t miss this one...

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BookBrowse

Good
on Sep 19 2013

Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.

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Bookalicious

Good
Reviewed by Pam on Jul 07 2012

Elizabeth Wein wrote a novel that not only feels important for teens to read- it also crosses over very well to adults.

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WAPL Teens

Excellent
Reviewed by Megan on Jun 19 2012

...you won't soon forget this incredible story of how immensely good - and how desperately terrible - human nature can be.

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Read This!

Good
on Aug 23 2012

Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.

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The Horn Book

Good
Reviewed by Deirdre Baker on May 09 2012

...it’s outstanding in all its features—its warm, ebullient characterization; its engagement with historical facts; its ingenious plot and dramatic suspense; and its intelligent, vivid writing.

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Alice Marvels

Good
on May 14 2012

This is definitely a book to savor, to re-read immediately, and to come back to several times over your reading life.

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DenverPost.com

Good
Reviewed by Joelle on Jun 05 2012

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein is a gut wrenching narrative of war, patriotism and most of all friendship.

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CM

Good
Reviewed by Ann Ketcheson on Apr 20 2012

...I do not hesitate to recommend it, not only to the age groups above but also to adults interested in the World War Two time period and not only to girls but also to male readers who will enjoy the action, the intrigue and the incredible story...

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TATAL

Good
Reviewed by Kady on Feb 19 2013

...the book is meticulously researched. Elizabeth Wein must have spent so much time making sure every single detail was exactly right.

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Break Point

Good
Reviewed by Rachel McMillan on Jan 25 2013

Late-night missions, spy operations, and intense battle sequences are just some of the ingredients that make this teen read a compelling but dark one.

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B***h Media

Excellent
Reviewed by Katie Presley on Dec 19 2012

It could still be as tightly wound as a top, as intricately plotted as any good twist-ending requires, and equally stupefying in violence and intrigue. It could contain the names of monarchs and spies, Nazis and codes. It could be Code Name Verity, the best book I've read this year, and the new YA Everest.

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Booklist Online

Good
Reviewed by Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan on Aug 17 2012

If you are strong of heart, it’s one of those books that you will immediately want to reread. I’d like to read it again...

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Idaho Statesman

Good
Reviewed by Rachel Bennett on May 15 2012

Please, I implore you, if this book sounds even remotely interesting to you, pick it up and read it. And share it with others. It's that good.

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State Library of Victoria

Good
Reviewed by lkemp on May 30 2012

There’s special delight for aircraft enthusiasts in the wealth of research behind the hugely exciting scenes of flight and combat.

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Rhapsody in Books

Good
Reviewed by rhapsodyinbooks on Jul 26 2012

...one couldn’t help but be drawn in by the loyalty and devotion between these two young women. And these are young women one can’t help but admire.

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Dark Faerie Tales

Excellent
Reviewed by Emmy on Jul 16 2012

Heartbreaking. Humorous. Sensational writing. Phenomenal narrator. And this emotional roller-coaster has left me without enough words to encapsulate how I’m feeling.

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The Book Smugglers

Excellent
Reviewed by Ana on Feb 10 2012

Code Name Verity is a sensational book. Hands down my favourite read so far this year and already on my top 10 of 2012.

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Parental Book Reviews

Good
on Sep 19 2013

This is not an easy story to read but it pulls you in and won't let go. As I got into it, I couldn't put it down wondering what was going to happen....how is it going to end. But then as I got closer to the end I almost didn't want to finish it. I didn't want it to end, to close the door on Julie and Maddie.

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The Book Stop

Good
on Jun 17 2012

...while I found it a little hard to get into, in the end I would highly recommend it. For you and for any teens you may know.

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365 Days of Reading

Excellent
on May 21 2012

Fans of historical fiction, your new favorite book has arrived! If the time period interests you at all, I would highly recommend giving Code Name Verity a try. If histfic isn’t quite your thing, I would still suggest you try Elizabeth Wein’s latest, because it’s positively fantastic.

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Chick Loves Lit

Excellent
Reviewed by Shanyn on Jan 07 2013

Wonderful, excellent, emotional writing style and characters you easily care for. A world I felt transported to even though I didn’t live in the time period of the story, and revelations that made me gasp.

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http://blogs.slj.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Elizabeth Burns on May 15 2012

Because days later I am still crying. Because of the seamless craft of this book, in character, setting, writing, and plotting. Because this is about being a coward while telling the truth,and being brave while telling lies. Because it is about the power of words and of story. Oh, kiss me, Hardy. This is a Favorite Book Read in 2012.

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Alexa Loves Books

Good
Reviewed by Alexa Y. on Dec 28 2012

This novel tells such a beautiful, moving tale of friendship that will be staying with me for a long while. In fact, the only (semi) negative thing I can say about this book is that you just have to be in the right mood to read it. It's a wonderful example of historical YA, and I look forward to finding other gems in this particular sub-genre.

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Shelf Awareness

Good
on Sep 19 2013

Like Megan Whalen Turner, Wein creates a captive who uses wit as a weapon, and makes us feel that, at least intellectually, Verity has the upper hand. Wein's work is mesmerizing.

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Jen Robinson's Book Page

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on Feb 07 2013

...Code Name Verity is full of action and espionage, flying planes and setting off bombs. It is a book for anyone to enjoy...

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Stacked

Good
Reviewed by Kimberly's F. on Jul 13 2012

I think Wein took a lot of risks in her writing style here, and those risks paid off hugely. She really is in a class by herself in terms of artistry. And despite its naysayers, I think it's incredibly exciting.

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My Friend Amy

Good
Reviewed by Amy on Jun 27 2012

There aren't a lot of books that I've really loved this year, but Code Name Verity is one that I really loved reading and completely enjoyed.

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Books 4 Your Kids

Excellent
Reviewed by Tanya on Jun 24 2013

This is the kind of book that you BEG people to read so that you have someone to talk about it with. This is also the kind of book that you BEG people to read so that you can watch them gasp as the story unfolds.

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YA Love

Excellent
Reviewed by Mrs. Andersen on May 10 2012

Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. Code Name Verity is an outstanding novel that will stick with you long after the last page.

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Joy's Book Blog

Good
Reviewed by Joy Weese Moll on Mar 31 2013

As a librarian, I loved reading the debriefing note at the end that gave us a hint at the research process and what bits of the story were based on real events. I especially loved the brief bibliography that offered more ways to explore the topic.

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Burton Book Review

Excellent
on Sep 19 2013

Utterly gripping story that I could not stop thinking about. Completely imaginative and creative way the author chose to portray this story, absolutely brilliant.

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Nyx Book Reviews

Below average
Reviewed by CelineNyx on Jul 16 2013

The worst thing about Code Name Verity is that it’s plain boring. To spice things up, Verity mentions being tortured. However, her way of recounting her torture is so laconic and indifferent that it disgusted me.

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Book Nerd

Above average
Reviewed by Giselle on May 16 2012

Overall, a wonderful book about friendship, and war Elizabeth Wein writes with a vast the knowledge of the era. One I'm sure she did an amount of extensive research on.

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The Broke and the Bookish

Good
Reviewed by Jen on Jul 01 2013

I admire their strength and resourcefullness. Even though the characters of Julie and Maddie were not based on specific women there were women who did the same things these two did. I hope I would have been as courageous as they were.

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Escape in a Book

Good
Reviewed by Mari on Dec 13 2012

This is a story that is perfect for rereading, it is not necessary but I'm willing to bet that I'll discover a whole new story the second time around.

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Anna Reads

Good
Reviewed by Anna on May 28 2012

For a brilliantly researched and beautifully realized read that will surprise and charm you, you must pick up Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.

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A Case for Books

Good
Reviewed by Anna on Apr 25 2013

As with any book we search for characters that are somehow similar to ourselves, and I felt like I found that I could relate to these characters despite never having been in any situation that they went through.

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Carina's Books

Good
Reviewed by Carina Olsen on Mar 05 2013

It is a heartbreaking ending, and I wish it had never happened. Don't understand why it had to. Anyway. You need to read this book.

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Presenting Lenore

Good
Reviewed by Lenore Appelhans on Jul 02 2012

It's a tense, intricate puzzler of a story with a bang of an ending. It will take a long time for my poor heart to recover from this one.

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Quinn's Book Nook

Excellent
Reviewed by Quinn on Jul 31 2013

Okay, so, yeah, I am joining the Code-Name-Verity-is-one-of-the-best-books-ever club! I’m still thinking about this book days after finishing it. So much of this book was heart wrenching...but there are also parts that made me smile, and even cheer for Maddie and Verity during such terrible situations.

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Rex Robot Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Shannon on Jul 08 2013

Code Name Verity is impeccably written, but it does take a little patience. It drops you in the middle of the story and it takes some time for the story to be sorted out. But the pay off is worth it. I highly recommend this book!

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SarahReck.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Sarah Reck on Feb 13 2013

The story and the writing are both brilliant, the writing especially. I am in awe of Wein’s storytelling ability, the tone and voices she brought out, and the way the story unfolding.

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YA Book Queen

Good
Reviewed by Lea on Aug 06 2012

Brilliantly written. When I reached Part Two, I realized how smart Verity's narration was as everything fell into place.

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Emily's Reading Room

Excellent
Reviewed by Emily on Jun 20 2012

Beware, this book will make you cry. I am usually pretty tough-skinned with books. But, I had several mornings where make-up had to be re-applied when I got into work. But, like I said, it's a book that will move you. And a few tears are always worth it.

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this ain't livin'

Excellent
Reviewed by s.e. smith on Jul 21 2013

Code Name Verity is compellingly written with fantastic historical detail, and it’s also a book that punches you savagely in the gut in a way that’s stunning, stellar, and totally appropriate.

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Flyleaf Review

Excellent
Reviewed by Heather Roddenberry on Jul 14 2012

...read this book. Beg, borrow, or steal if you must. Well, maybe not steal, but you get what I am saying...It's masterfully written and unforgettable. I have found a new favorite author.

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Turn the Page

Good
on Mar 08 2012

Mov­ing, poignant, heart­break­ing. Code Name Ver­ity is a rare treat, a fas­ci­nat­ing glimpse into women’s lesser known roles dur­ing the war, loy­alty, love and what it means to be brave.

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Consumed by Books

Good
Reviewed by Liz on Aug 20 2013

There’s a reason Code Name Verity won a Printz honor: it’s not only a well-told story, but the entire book is exceptionally crafted. In addition to winning a major award, it’s also going to spend a long time on library and classroom bookshelves, being passed from reader to reader. Give this one a shot if you haven’t already.

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Chapter by Chapter

Good
on Jun 04 2012

Code Name Verity is one of those stories that I won’t soon forget. It did reiterate to me the importance of friends, and how sometimes one must do, what needs to be done for the sake of friendship.

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Almost Grown-Up

Excellent
Reviewed by Jen on May 10 2012

Elizabeth Wein did a clear amount of research to bring the terrifying times of World War II to life in excruciating detail. Elizabeth Wein is also the master of surprise. I found myself sobbing rather violently through Code Name Verity’s resolution as she took me on a rollercoaster plummet of emotions.

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Sash & Em

Good
on Jun 27 2013

This book made me bawl like a baby and all I could think of was MY best friend, who I’m lucky to blog with, and what I would do if it were the two of us in World War II. If you don’t come away from this book thinking about your best friend, I don’t know what to tell you!

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The Cait Files

Excellent
Reviewed by Cait on May 06 2013

Code Name Verity is one of the most masterful, absorbing and emotional books I have ever read. Set against the backdrop of a time of upheaval and horror, the WWII setting really adds to the ambiance of the story and develops the already admirable and lovable characters in ways that make you root for them even more.

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Reader Rating for Code Name Verity
81%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 915 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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