Code Name Verity

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Code Name Verity
Code Name Verity - Electric Monkey cover.jpg
Cover of the 2012 Electric Monkey UK edition.
Author Elizabeth E. Wein
Country United States
Language English
Genre Young adult fiction
Historical fiction
Publisher Hyperion Books
Publication date
May 15, 2012
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 451
ISBN 978-1423152194
OCLC 748286341
LC Class PZ7.W4358 Cp 2012
Followed by Rose Under Fire

Code Name Verity is a young adult historical fiction novel by Elizabeth Wein that was published in 2012.[1] It focuses on the friendship between two young British women, one English and one Scottish, in World War II – a spy captured by the Nazis in German-occupied France and the pilot who brought her there. It was named a Michael L. Printz Honor Book in 2013, and shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.

A loose sequel, Rose Under Fire, was published in 2013. A prequel novel, The Pearl Thief, was published in May 2017; it is a mystery involving Code Name Verity's protagonist Julie one year before the war starts.[2]


In 1943 Nazi-occupied France, a British Lysander spy plane crashes in the fictional town of Ormaie. On board are two best friends, a pilot (Maddie, code name: Kittyhawk) and a spy (Julie, code name: Verity). The latter is soon captured by Nazi authorities, detained in a former hotel, and forced to write a confession detailing the British war effort, which she decides to write in the form of a novel. Through her confession, she tells the story of her friendship with Maddie, the pilot, and how she came to enter France in the first place. Also, scattered throughout the confession are hints about the hotel/prison, like (as with all the prisoners' rooms, my window has been boarded shut). In the second part of the plot, the story is told from Maddie's point of view, and reveals the events that transpired after the plane crash that left both women in France, and her plan to find Verity and bring her back home. In the end, Maddie kills Julie to prevent her from being tortured or sent Nacht und Nebel to Natweiler-Struthof as a specimen for medical experiments. After that, Maddie receives Julie's confession from Engel, a chemist at the hotel/prison who has had a crisis of conscience, and she and the French Resistance use the hints about the prison to blow the hotel, which the Nazis also use as their center of operations. After that, Maddie is flown back to England by Jamie, Julie's brother, and he and Maddie are sweet on each other. In England, she is acquitted of the murder of Julia Lindsay MacKenzie Wallace Beaufort-Stuart.

Critical reception[edit]

Code Name Verity received critical acclaim. The New York Times praised it as "a fiendishly plotted mind game of a novel, the kind you have to read twice",[3] and Kirkus Reviews called it a "carefully researched, precisely written tour de force".[4] Code Name Verity is one of five young adult novels published in 2012 to receive starred reviews in all six trade journals.[5]

The novel won the 2013 Michael L. Printz Honor Book,[6] the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Young Adult Novel, and the Golden Kite Honor in 2013. It was also shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.[7]


  1. ^ "Code name Verity". Library of Congress Online Catalog. The Library of Congress. Retrieved May 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Wein pens 'Code Name Verity' prequel | The Bookseller". The Bookseller. September 21, 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2016. 
  3. ^ Ingall, Marjorie (2012-05-11). "The Pilot and the Spy". Retrieved 2012-07-03. 
  4. ^ "CODE NAME VERITY". Kirkus Reviews. 15 February 2012. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  5. ^ Winn, Whitney. "Starred YA Book Reviews 2012". Youth Services Corner. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Printz Award 2013". American Library Association. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  7. ^ "The CILIP Carnegie Medal Shortlist for 2013". CILIP. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2015-02-10.