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Rose Under Fire Hardcover – September 10, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Wein has crafted another stunner in this companion novel (2013) to Code Name Verity (2012, both Hyperion) Listeners reconnect with Maddie, who is mourning her late friend Julie, as she befriends a young American pilot named Rose Justice. Rose loves to fly and has entered the war effort on behalf of the British Air Force, transporting planes and people wherever they're needed, until she is taken captive while flying over France. The title character ends up in Ravensbruck, the infamous women's concentration camp run by the Nazis, and experiences the excruciating horrors and intense friendships such a place can create. As possibly the only American in Ravensbruck, Rose bonds with the "Rabbits," a group of women from a variety of backgrounds who were horribly experimented on by the Nazis, as well as French resistance workers and a Russian aviator. Not all of them make it out alive. Listeners learn earlier on that Rose does survive the camp, which makes hearing about the atrocities committed there a bit less harrowing, although many parts are still very difficult to listen to. Narrator Sasha Pick does a nice job depicting the American Rose, but she is less successful portraying characters with other accents. In a nice touch, the author narrates her own notes and acknowledgements. Pleasant music separates the discs.—Julie Paladino, East Chapel Hill High School, NC --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

In this companion to Code Name Verity (2012), readers meet American Rose Justice, who ferries Allied planes from England to Paris. The first quarter of the book, which begins in 1944, describes Rose’s work, both its dangers and its highs. It also makes the connection between Rose and the heroine of the previous book, Julie, through their mutual friend, Maddie. Despite the vagaries of war, things are going pretty well for Rose, so hearts drop when Rose is captured. It first seems Rose’s status as a pilot may save her, but she is quickly shipped off to Ravensbrück, the notorious women’s concentration camp in Northern Germany. The horror of the camp, with its medical experimentation on Polish women—called rabbits—is ably captured. Yet, along with the misery, Wein also reveals the humanity that can surface, even in the worst of circumstances. The opening diary format is a little clunky, but readers will quickly become involved in Rose’s harrowing experience. Though the tension is different than in Code Name Verity, it is still palpable. Grades 9-12. --Ilene Cooper

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (September 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423183096
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423183099
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #365,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Valerie A. Baute on September 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Rose Justice is an American pilot for the ATA during WWII. She is captured and sent to an all women concentration camp, Ravensbruck. Just like all concentration camp stories, Rose is in for a very horrible and difficult time. Told through her journal from before and after the concentration camp, mostly after, we get an intimate look at life inside the camp, learning to live afterward, and even a glimpse at the trials that took place once the war was over.

Rose Under Fire is a companion to Code Name Verity. You do not have to read Verity to understand this book, but I think everyone should read it anyway. Maddie is back in this one as Rose's friend. Some people in Maddie's past are referenced, but you aren't told what happened. If I were reading this book without having read Verity, I would absolutely want to go back and see what happened in Verity. There are a lot more surprises in Verity that might not be as shocking if Rose is read first.

I felt that Verity was a more powerful story, but I enjoyed reading this one more. I do have a soft spot for concentration camp stories, and it made it even better that this was fictional. I could really get into the characters and root for all of them, but at least I know in my heart that the specific casualties were fictitious. Verity was full of technical information about airplanes, so much that I found myself skimming over those parts. That was definitely not the case this time. Rose's flying passion was part of her, but it didn't take over the story. There was a lot of poetry this time, something else Rose was passionate about. I am not a big fan of poetry within stories. It didn't ruin the book for me, as I understand that her poetry was necessary in keeping the morale up for so many girls in the camp.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Maggie on September 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I don't think I've ever cried so much while reading a book. Elizabeth Wein is a genius. Honestly, I can't think of any other way to describe her. Code Name Verity was one of my favorite books of last year and Rose Under Fire will undoubtedly be one of my favorite books of this year. I've always been a fan of historical fiction, but Wein's ability to bring these stories to life is just completely above and beyond other historical fiction that's out there (although Ruta Sepetys gives her a run for her money).

Rose is an 18-year-old American pilot who is working for the Air Transport Auxiliary in England. She pretty much flies planes around England moving them from one location to another whether it's for repair (I loved the story of her freezing to death flying a plane with a hole in the windshield) or because it's needed somewhere else. She's stationed in the same location as Maddie Broddart from Code Name Verity and it was so nice to see what Maddie, and Jamie, were up to.

The story takes place after D-Day, which, as a lover of history I am ashamed to say, surprised me. I guess I always think of D-Day as the end of the war and it's crazy to me that all these terrible things happened for more than a year after D-Day. Rose dreams of flying to Europe and eventually her uncle, who has a powerful job with the British military, gets her over there. I loved her descriptions of Paris after the war, it was really powerful getting to see it through her eyes the first time she was there. When Rose is flying back to England from Paris she gets taken off course and captured by Germans.

Honestly, at this point in the book I thought I was going to have to go to the end and read what happens. I was just so anxious about what was going to happen to Rose.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By busbedhev on February 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You guys have no idea how excited I was to read 'Rose Under Fire' after loving 'Code Name Verity', especially after finding out it was a companion novel (meaning characters from CNV would appear). So when I started this book I couldn't help comparing it to its predecessor and from the very beginning I discovered that even though it'd been written by the same author, it had another feeling.

Old characters make appearances (and I couldn't help grinning and fangirling with everything that happens with them) but the narrative and the main character's voice was different. Actually, the first time I picked this book I had a hard time connecting with Rose, so I took a break and didn't pick it up until today. And I am glad I waited because I enjoyed it more this second time and Elizabeth Wein's writing made me feel as if I was a witness of everything that was happening. I felt the cruelty and injustice these women received, their pain and their happiness, their despair and hope.

And still, a part of me couldn't connect with Rose. And I did shed some tears but I didn't cry my eyes out like I did with CNV. I didn't love it but I liked it… somewhat. More because of the relationships between Rose and the supporting characters that Rose herself. Because it was in those moments when they were saying goodbye or losing hope or winning it again that I felt for them and I loved them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chapati VINE VOICE on November 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Rose Under Fire, by Elizabeth Wein, is the companion novel to Code Name Verity. This book starts a bit after Code Name Verity ends and features only a few of the same characters. The main character here is Rose, an American pilot working for the Air Transport Auxiliary in England. One day, she flies off-course and is caught by the Germans and sent to a concentration camp, Ravensbruck. She spends six months there before she escapes with some friends, and then she shares her story through journal entries.

I love that Wein gives friendship so much the spotlight in her novels, much more than romance, and that she makes clear that platonic relationships can do so much to help us through horrible times and keep us trucking on. There was so much sacrifice of one person for another in this book, so much attention to the greater good. I think that was wonderful. And, importantly, I loved that Rose was always the protagonist and hero of her own story. She instigates the action in her life; she gets herself into a mess and she works with a team to get herself back out of it. And then, when she's out, she deals with pulling together the pieces of herself to become a working human being again.

I also appreciated how much time Wein spent describing Rose's post-traumatic stress disorder when she got back to "normal life." She spends weeks cooped up in her hotel room. She can't put on clothes. She knows what she went through but has trouble remembering the details of just how miserable and horrifying it was. And when she has to help her friend to overcome those same demons, does it to make sure that they are both able to live full and valuable lives, it is a true act of courage that, I think, would go unnoticed by most people.
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