July Online Book Club: Code Name Verity

July Online Book Club: Code Name Verity

Online Book Club: What is it?

Love the idea of a book club, but you don’t have time to attend meetings? No problem!

We won’t have meetings, but anyone who reads or listens to that month’s title, either with physical copies or digital copies, can participate in our online discussion boards on  Facebook and our blog posts.

If you’re busy, but love to read, this could be the perfect Book Club for you! Join us and keep the conversation going!

The July Online Book Club title is Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.

Cover of Code Name Verity

About Code Name Verity

From Goodreads:

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 universally acclaimed Michael L. Printz Award Honor book, 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.

Author Elizabeth Wein

About Elizabeth Wein

From the author’s website:

Elizabeth Wein was born in New York City in 1964. She moved to England in 1967, and lived in Jamaica from 1970-1973. Eventually she moved to Harrisburg, PA, with her mother. She went to Yale University, and earned her PhD in Folklore at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where she held a Javits Fellowship. She met her husband at a bell ringer’s dance when she rang church bells, and moved to England, then Scotland, with him. They still ring bells every Sunday at Dunkeld Cathedral on the banks of the River Tay.

Her husband earned his private pilot’s license in 1993, and Elizabeth earned hers ten years later. Together, they have flown in the USA from Kalamazoo to New Hampshire; in Kenya, they toured from Nairobi to Malindi, on the coast, and have also flown all over southern England and Scotland.

Elizabeth Wein is a dual American/British citizen, and is proud and grateful to call Scotland her home and to be considered a “Scottish writer”, having written all but the first of her two books while living there. She and her husband have two grown children who were both raised in Scotland.

Code Name Verity, published in 2012, was her first full-length World War II story. On World Book Day in March 2020, it hit Number 1 on the New York Times Bestseller List!

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Discussion questions for Code Name Verity

  1. Why is SS-Hauptsturmführer von Linden keeping “Verity” alive and imprisoned at the Château de Bordeaux? Why do you think he is willing to give her so much time to write her confession?
  2. Who do you think switched Verity’s and Maddie’s identification papers? Why?
  3. Though Code Name Verity takes place during World War II, in what ways is it relevant today, with regard to conflict and war? Has this novel changed the way you regard human suffering or changed the way you define courage? How?
  4. What are your impressions of Anna Engel? Is she a sympathetic character? Why or why not?
  5. How well do we really get to know Verity? What of her confession is “true”? She ends her confession by repeating and repeating “I have told the truth.” What truths has she shared?

Mary is the Adult Services Specialist at the Union Township Branch Library.

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