Treason or torture. It's an easy choice to make when you're sitting at home in your comfortable chair with a good book in your hand. Of course you would never give in if tortured by the enemy. But would you? Could you possibly hold out in the face of the horrible terrors administered at the hands of the Gestapo? Or would you tell them everything?
Because that's what Queenie does. She gives in. It's a simple choice, really. With pencil in hand, she tells them everything they want to know. Line by line, she writes as her captors bleed her of information—air fields, personnel, equipment, secrets. Everything. And at the root of it is her desire to tell the story of how her life has become intertwined with that of her best friend, female pilot Maddie Brodatt. Queenie hates her captors for what she tells them, but she hates herself even more. But she writes, because every day that she writes buys her one more day of life.
Elizabeth Wein has woven an incredible story and with characters who lived in her imagination until she put them on paper so they could live in readers' hearts. It's the story of an intense friendship between two girls which goes beyond simple vows and oaths. In peacetime, Queenie wouldn't have recognized Maddie socially, but during war, their friendship has been forged by fire, and each holds the life of the other precariously in her own hands.
Find Elizabeth Wein's book "Code Name Verity" locally at the following libraries.
Parents: While "Code Name Verity" is a historical account of the part some women played in British Special Operations and the Air Transport Auxiliary, this book contains language and disturbing images and descriptions. You may want to pre-read this before giving it to you young adult reader. This book is not recommended for middle grade readers.
Source of review copy: Gail Borden Public Library
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; Reprint edition (May 7, 2013)