Author: Wein, Elizabeth
Told in multiple voices, fifteen-year-old Jamaican Louisa Adair uncovers an Enigma machine in the small Scottish village where she cares for an elderly German woman, and helps solve a puzzle that could turn the tide of World War II.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 16.0 Quiz: 509932
Kirkus Reviews (+) (03/01/20)
School Library Journal (03/01/20)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/05/20)
The Hornbook (+) (00/05/20)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2020 Gr 7 Up—In the same vein as Wein's Code Name Verity, this World War II novel is an exhilarating and atmospheric read. Set in 1940 in a small Scottish village on the North Sea that is home to a Royal Air Force base, the narrative features alternating voices, daring action in the air, and high-stakes intrigue on the ground as a variety of young people work to undermine and bring down the daunting German war machine. Fifteen-year-old Jamaican British Louisa Adair has lost both of her parents in the shelling, and must find a way to support herself while doing her bit to defeat the Nazis. Despite her losses and dislocation, Louisa keeps her flute by her side and her mother's love of music in her heart. She lands a job in Windyedge caring for an elderly retired opera singer whose niece runs a pub near the air base. Louisa and the fascinating old woman, who is German by birth and living under a pseudonym, turn out to be kindred spirits, and eventually co-conspirators. Another teen, Ellen McEwen, hails from a family of Travellers and hides her background as she works as a volunteer driver at the base and takes on increasing responsibilities. Jamie Beaufort-Stuart, of Code Name Verity fame, appears as a 19-year-old flight leader for the 648 Squadron, flying slow and clunky Bristol Blenheim aircrafts, and is driven to desperation to keep his pilots safe and stand up to the mighty Messerschmitts. The young people's lives and stories converge when a German pilot lands in Windyedge and leaves behind a mysterious box—an Enigma machine—and, more importantly, a key to how it works to translate German code. A lengthy "Author's Declaration of Accountability" outlines Wein's research and representation, and provides further reading and numerous interesting links. VERDICT Just the ticket for lovers of historical thrillers and Wein's many fans.—Luann Toth, formerly at School Library Journal - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/01/2020 Fifteen-year-old Jamaican-born Londoner Louisa wants desperately to contribute to the 1940 British cause, and she’d be a flyer if she could. Instead, after the war-related deaths of both her parents, she is caretaker for an aging opera singer in a small Scottish town next to an air base. When a German enigma machine comes into her possession, she finally gets her chance to pitch in with the war effort, as long as she can elude the attention of the German—and British—authorities. Wein returns to the world of Code Name Verity (2012) through a minor character whose youthful perspective offers a somewhat sweet and nostalgic look at WWII. Characters are quirky and mostly lovable, and Wein deftly balances that sweetness with some harsh realities of wartime, including young flyers who don’t return, betrayals, bombs, and the tension of hosting prisoners of war. Link this to Verity, as well as Rose Under Fire (2013) and The Pearl Thief (2017). For readers seeking female characters of color in this time period, try Sherri L. Smith’s Flygirl (2009). - Copyright 2020 Booklist.