Monday, 3 June 2013

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Frequently I read a book which convinces me that teenagers get all of the best books written for them.  This is undoubtedly my book of the year so far.  It is absolutely and completely brilliant. Currently it costs £1.09 for the Kindle edition.  I would absolutely recommend that anyone who owns a Kindle download it.  And if you don't own a Kindle borrow it from the library.  Heck, even pay full price for it.  That's how much I love it - a book I would pay the RRP for without hesitation.

It's very Michelle Magorian-esque, but a little more grown up than that.  Set in World War II it tells almost the same story from two different points of view.  I have already read it twice, because it's only when you've finished reading that the whole story comes together.

It is incredibly sad.  I tried very hard to cry silently whilst sitting on the train home on my own.  In fact, it's not a very good bet for the train really - not only because you might well cry, but also because unless your train journey is extremely long, you will not get it all read.

It's a little bit slow to start, and this would possibly put some teens off, but it really is worth persisting.  It would be a great read for those studying or interested in World War II, or perhaps as somewhere for Michelle Magorian fans to move on to. 

Best for 13+ I would think, or slightly younger very competent readers - there are smatterings of several different European languages and the plot can be somewhat difficult to piece together, partly because of the different code names for the characters, and because of the multiple narrative.  However, it really is worth a read.

I now only have one of the Carnegie books left to read.  Given it's written in verse, I really don't think it will be in the running for my favourite.  It may come above Wonder in my estimation, but then The Doctor Who Character Encyclopedia comes above Wonder. Potentially the book about practical jokes that the kids argued over last summer hols that doesn't even have  a name comes above Wonder.  If Wonder wins I will be very grumpy indeed. I should probably do something practical to assuage my rage, but being grumpy will almost certainly suffice. 

I can't decide whether I want Code Name Verity to win or A Boy and a Bear in a Boat.  (I absolutely loved A Greyhound of a Girl too, but Roddy Doyle still has to lose a few marks from me, because of writing A Star Called Henry all those years ago.)  There should be separate age categories, and then they could both win. They both win in my estimation anyway.  Unless of course the dreaded verse novel manages to pull it out of the bag...

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