Reading guide for Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

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Code Name Verity

By Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity
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  • Hardcover: May 2012,
    352 pages.
    Paperback: May 2013,
    352 pages.

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Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

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Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  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. At the beginning of Code Name Verity, "Verity" starts her confessional story from Maddie's perspective rather than her own. Why? In "Kittyhawk," part two of the book, the author changes narrators from "Verity" to Maddie. Does this change your expectations of what's going to happen? Does having two narrators detract from the story or strengthen it? Why?

  3. According to William Shakespeare (The Tempest), "misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows." Metaphorically speaking, how is this quote relevant to the friendship between Julie ("Verity") and Maddie?

  4. Who do you think switched Verity's and Maddie's identification papers? Why?

  5. Throughout the book, the author makes a number of allusions and refers to a good many poets and authors. What are some of the most significant allusions? How do you think these literary and historical influences help deepen your understanding of the characters?

  6. How well do we really get to know Julie ("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?

  7. What are your impressions of Anna Engel? Is she a sympathetic character? Why or why not?

  8. How do the roles of the female characters, especially Maddie, foreshadow the women's liberation and equal rights movements that would take place a generation after the War in Europe and the U.S.?

  9. Maddie makes a life-or-death choice that you will probably never have to face. Given a similar bond of friendship, what would you do if you were in a situation that required you to hurt someone you loved?

  10. 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?

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Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Hyperion Books for Children. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

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