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Code Name Verity Kindle Edition

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Length: 353 pages
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Teen Books of the Month, May 2012: Rich in historical detail and intrigue, Code Name Verity is a vivid reminder of what makes historical fiction so compelling. In exchange for a temporary stay of execution and lesser forms of torture, a young female spy captured in Nazi-occupied France writes a confession of her activities in the Resistance. Her story is that of two women who should never have crossed paths, yet were destined to become the best of friends and embark upon the covert mission that would determine which of them would live or die. Courage born of friendship, fierce hope, and surprising ironies abound in this spell-binding novel that will appeal to teens and adult readers alike.--Seira Wilson

Review

Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal

“Between this and her follow-up, Rose Under Fire, Wein is revealing herself to be a new master of young adult historical fiction. . . . Filled with twists and turns, Code Name Verity is not for the faint of heart.”
Rolling Stone

“This heart-in-your-mouth adventure has it all: a complex plot, a vivid sense of place and time, and resonant themes of friendship and courage. Practical Maddie and mischievous Julie are brought to life through their vibrant narrative voices and intriguing backstories . . . 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.”
The Washington Post
 
“Young people will enjoy this Second World War spy story, no doubt, but its appeal is much wider. It's a beautiful thriller about friendship, courage and daring at a desperate time.”
The StarPhoenix
 
“Moving back in time, rather than forward, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein is an original, cleverly written Second World War story about spies, torture, women pilots, friendship and the horror of war.”
The Independent

“A carefully researched, precisely written tour de force; unforgettable and wrenching.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
“[Code Name Verity] is 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.”
The Horn Book (starred review)

“A fiendishly plotted mind game of a novel.”
The New York Times Book Review

“If you pick up this book, it will be some time before you put your dog-eared, tear-stained copy back down. Wein succeeds on three fronts: historical verisimilitude, gut-wrenching mystery, and a first-person voice of such confidence and flair that the protagonist might become a classic character. . . . Both crushingly sad and hugely inspirational, this plausible, unsentimental novel will thoroughly move even the most cynical of readers.”
Booklist Online (American Library Association)

“This book is written in a brilliant way. . . . Elizabeth Wein makes it always be believable and realistic as it is from the point of view of a young woman. . . . By the end, I was sobbing. . . . I would rate it a 10/10, for being so amazing and intriguing. . . . I think everyone should read this incredible and heart wrenching story of two girls.”
The Guardian (UK)

“Everyone should read this book. Everyone, everyone, everyone. . . . It will, in certain moments, emotionally destroy you, put you back together again, and leave you slightly unable to function as a person after you’ve finished it. But in a good way. In the sort of way where you’re really glad you read it, and want everyone you know to read it as well. . . . It is unlike anything I have ever read, full of pain and bravery and friendship. . . . Run to the bookstore right now.”
Feminist Fiction

 “This book enthralled me from the opening words. . . . What a fabulous book. Made up of equal parts Nancy Drew, Girl Scout and Steve McQueen, these girls show just how much they took on, and how much they were capable of doing, during the war while the men were away. . . . The layers run deep. . . . Suffice it to say that if you are a fan of intrigue, war and strong females. . . you will not be disappointed.”
Ink and Page

Product Details

  • File Size: 1738 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1423152190
  • Publisher: Disney Hyperion (May 15, 2012)
  • Publication Date: May 15, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007Y7UVHE
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,499 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I was born in New York City in 1964, and moved to England when I was 3. I started school there. We lived practically in the shadow of Alderley Edge, the setting for several of Alan Garner's books and for my own first book The Winter Prince; that landscape, and Garner's books, have been a lifelong influence on me.

My father, who worked for the New York City Board of Education for most of his life, was sent to England to do teacher training at what is now Manchester Metropolitan University. He helped organize the Headstart program there. When I was six he was sent to the University of the West Indies in Jamaica for three years to do the same thing in Kingston. I loved Jamaica and became fluent in Jamaican patois (I can't really speak it any more, but I can still understand it); but in 1973 my parents separated, and we ended up back in the USA living with my mother in Harrisburg, PA, where her parents were. When she died in a car accident in 1978, her wonderful parents took us in and raised us.

I went to Yale University, spent a work-study year back in England, and then spent seven years getting a PhD in Folklore at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. While I was there I learned to ring church bells in the English style known as "change ringing", and in 1991 I met my future husband there at a bell ringers' dinner-dance. He is English, and in 1995 I moved to England with him, and then to Scotland in 2000.

We share another unusual interest--flying in small planes. My husband got his private pilot's license in 1993 and I got mine ten years later. Together we have flown in the States from Kalamazoo to New Hampshire; in Kenya we've flown from Nairobi to Malindi, on the coast, and also all over southern England. Alone, most of my flying has been in eastern Scotland.

We have two children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

151 of 163 people found the following review helpful By Gretchen @ My Life is a Notebook on May 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This review is of an ARC received from NetGalley.

There are few books that leave me speechless.

This would be one of them.

I'll admit, I had my reservations in the beginning. The narrator RAMBLES like whoa. I mean, I was reading on a screen and I saw pages taken up by just two paragraphs and I thought "Swell, this is just going and going and I'm going to be bored to tears."

I wasn't. Not by a long shot.

Usually, if the narrator rambles, I get bored and lose interest. Not here. Sometimes I feel like narrators in YA lack a distinct voice, but-again-not here. Verity HAS VOICE. Verity HAS PRESENCE. Despite the fact that she tells her story from Maddie's point of view, talking about herself in the first person, I felt like I was seeing into Verity's soul. There was no doubt in my mind about the voice that was just flying off the pages, talking to my heart. She not only managed to win me over despite rambling, but also despite talking about herself in the third person, which is huge. (The third person thing makes sense later, but I can't say anything about that!)

Plus, I was expecting a pretty dark, dramatic book. It is both of those things, but imagine my surprise when I found myself laughing out loud multiple times while I was reading. While Verity is being held by the Gestapo. I was laughing. That's how spectacular Verity is. That's how strong she is. That's what this book is like.

I'd also like to give a brief shout out on a very touchy subject. Not only is Verity a rounded person, but the German Officer who interrogates her is also a rounded character. He isn't this mindless drone, which I found very refreshing and made the book even more real. It would have been so, so easy to stereotype this guy, but Wein didn't.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By H Waterhouse on August 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Oh. My.

When you read enough reviews that refuse to talk about the plot, you know there is a twist coming, but the twist ended up being other than what I expected, so thank you previous reviewers.

The VOICE in this book! The voiceS. I was riveted all through the book by how vivid and rich the conversations were. There are 24 highlights in this book, which is about double my usual rate, because I couldn't let phrases like
"You ignorant Quisling bastard, SS-Scharführer Etienne Thibaut, I AM SCOTTISH."
and
"Oh my sainted aunt! unlimited visibility! unlimited visibility except for the dirty great city in the northwest! That would be the dirty great city surrounded at 3000 feet by a few hundred silver hydrogen balloons as big as buses! How in the name of mud is he going to find Berlin if he can't find Manchester?"

Anyway, it's a war book. It's like many other war books for young readers, about the inhumanity of war and the humanity of the individuals writing it, and how jarring it is to try to understand all that together. I would unhesitatingly give this book to a middle-schooler. There is violence, but it is mostly by reference, and there is fear, the book is thick with it, but each of the main characters makes a list of things she is afraid of, and both of them include Failing Other People. I love books that are about being equally scared of dying and failing.

Fascinatingly, this is an entirely aromantic book. It's like everyone is so busy staying alive/fighting Nazis that they have all the mate-finding and sexual pursuit burned out of them. Except for one creepy handsy character, which I thought was a fascinating and unnecessary inclusion, but it models how to handle someone sexually pushy without becoming completely unhistorical.
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42 of 49 people found the following review helpful By E. Smiley on November 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is one of those books that's almost impossible to talk about without revealing plot elements, and that's most enjoyable to discover as you go. So, if you think you'd like a young-adult novel starring two women--one a pilot, one an intelligence officer--in WWII, and you don't like spoilers, you should probably avoid all reviews (mine included) and just read it.

Now for the review.

Overall, Code Name Verity is an enjoyable book. The story is gripping, with tension and danger throughout--naturally enough, as one of the protagonists spends the book as a Nazi prisoner. The characters are fairly vivid, and I enjoyed reading about a pair of tough, capable women. I was unaware of the role of women pilots in England's Air Transport Auxiliary during the war, and so especially enjoyed reading about Maddie's advancement as a pilot. The author, a pilot herself, does a great job of communicating her love of flight, and her clear knowledge of planes adds verisimilitude. Wartime England and occupied France are both brought to life, and the writing style is adequate without drawing attention to itself.

Two criticisms then. First, I liked the idea of the main characters' friendship better than its depiction; they seem to leap right from getting acquainted to undying sisterhood, with readers missing a step somewhere along the way.

Second, there are the myriad problems with the epistolary format. The first 2/3 or so of the book is supposed to be written by Julie, the captured intelligence officer, as a "confession" for her captors. Unreliable narrators are fun and this keeps the reader guessing.
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