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Teens’ Top Ten: Nonfiction Picks for Fans of Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Photo Jul 03, 8 11 39 PMOver 32,000 teen readers cast their vote for the 2013 Teens’ Top Ten, and The Hub is celebrating their choices! Today we feature Elizabeth Wein whose book Code Name Verity is #1 on this year’s Teens’ Top Ten list. 

codenameverity-weinWhen Code Name Verity was chosen as a Teens’ Top Ten pick, I wasn’t the least bit surprised. In addition to be a very compelling story of friendship during war, it’s a thrilling spy novel. It has so many appeal factors that ensure it will be a hit with a variety of teen readers.

Because of diverse subjects touched on in Code Name Verity, there are a variety of nonfiction books that may interest fans of this WWII story.

Children’s Nonfiction

Though these are intended for younger readers, the content is engaging and interesting enough that teen readers can enjoy them, too.

  • Ghosts in the Fog: The Untold Story of Alaska’s WWII Invasion by Samantha Seiple

This book recounts the little known story of the Japanese invasion of islands off the cost of Alaska in narrative form. This engrossing account of the terrible conditions both soliders and civilians faced will strike a similiar emotional chord with readers.

  • Women Aviators : 26 Stories of Pioneer Flights, Daring Missions, and Record-setting Journeys by Karen Bush Gibson

While Wein’s writing is very rich in historical detail,  readers who enjoyed the exploits of women pilots in Code Name Verity may be interested in the true stories of these female pilots.

Young Adult Nonfiction

  • Code Name Pauline: Memoires of a World War II Special Agent by Pearl Witherington Cornioley

This true-life story of a female spy who went undercover on sabatage missions against the Nazis will be a hit with fans of the subterfuge of the main characters in Code Name Verity.

  • Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue by Kathryn J. Atwood

These women’s stories are as suspenseful as Maddie and Queenie’s fates in Code Name Verity, and highlight the many ways that women actively contributed to the war effort.

  • The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi by Neal Bascomb

This narrative nonfiction recounts the post-war hunt for Nazis and is a thrilling spy story in its own right.

Adult Nonfiction

  • Jungleland: A Mysterious Lost City, A WWII Spy, and a True Story of Deadly Adventure by Christopher S. Stewart

This book chronicles a modern expedition to find a lost city in Nicaragua, following the footsteps of a famous WWII spy who attempted to assassinate Hitler, and includes many sections on Theodore Morde’s missions during the war.

  • Code Talker by Chester Nez with Judith Schiess Avila

Many Navajo served during WWII and contributed greatly to the war effort, but their stories were initially classified. This memoir of one of the few living servicemen whose native language remains the only unbroken code used during warfare.

Historical fiction is a great way to introduce teen readers to different time periods and spark interest in real-life events. These books are interesting and exciting enough to convince even a reluctant reader that history is anything but dull!

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Code Name Verity Nonfiction Read-Alikes

— Molly Wetta, currently listening to Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts and reading Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi


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Molly is the Senior Librarian for Youth Services, Programming, and Marketing at Santa Barbara (CA) Public Library. She is a former member manager of YALSA's The Hub.


  1. Wow, really delighted to see Chicago Review Press’s ‘Women of Action’ series get so many titles mentioned here! Women Aviators is a fantastic book and I wish more people knew about it. And Code Name Pauline is amazing because of it is an autobiography of an actual Special Operations Executive agent which she wrote specifically with young readers in mind. AND – it was edited by Kathryn Atwood, who wrote Women Heroes of World War II!

    Great reading list in general – makes me want to go out and snatch them all up. I hope it inspires a few others as well!

    And thank you, from afar, to the wonderful readers who showed and continue to show their appreciation for Code Name Verity. You rock my world. xx e wein

  2. …also, apologies for incoherence. My excitement seems to have erupted in an abundance of prepositions in that sentence about Code Name Pauline. *blush*

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