Subscribe to The Horn Book

Fly blind, suggests Susan

Horn Book reviewer Susan Dove Lempke writes about being a proud defender of spoilers who met her Kryptonite in Code Name Verity. I recently listened to the fabulous audio edition of the book, and, despite, knowing how everything would turn out, found myself so taken in by the voice that I kept hoping the book would end differently than it does. (Oops, I guess that’s kind of a spoiler. Sorry, Susan!) The audiobook has a particular challenge in that some of the author’s craftiness is conveyed via typographical means, but I was so caught up in the story that I didn’t miss it.


See the Book Smugglers for a side by side look at the U.K. and U.S. editions of the book. I hear the U.S. paperback edition will not repeat what the NYT review called the “lesbian Fifty Shades of Grey” motif of the hardcover.

And DON’T LAUGH but if you liked Code Name Verity try Judith Krantz’s Till We Meet Again. That book does have its Fifty Shades of Grey moments but also a great plot about a plucky American lass who finds employment in the ATA while her siren sister–a Parisian movie star–finds herself in uneasy collaboration with the Nazis. It’s a lot of fun.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Hmph. I LOVE the American cover. I think it’s one of the most compelling, apt covers I’ve ever seen.

  2. Elissa Gershowitz Elissa Gershowitz says:

    I was very glad not to know the end of Code Name Verity before finishing it (recently). There were some elements I could anticipate because of what came before, but the details really do matter in this story. And while I don’t *love* the U.S. cover, it sure is more elegant than the UK version Roger links to above.

  3. I hate spoilers. But I’m posting to add my recommendation to Roger’s for Till We Meet Again. It’s my favorite Judith Krantz novel–so good that I’ve been trying to forget it so I can reread it. Even if you’ve always assumed Krantz isn’t your thing, I say give it a try.

  4. I read about Code Name Verity from the Book Smugglers and was immediately captivated and knew I wanted to purchase it for my school library. I showed the two cover images to a group of middle school girls and asked them which was more appealing. They chose the UK version so that’s the version I bought. I will be curious to see what the US does for the paperback edition.

    t’s a gorgeous book and I read it in one evening, sobbing the entire time.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind