Code Name Badass: The True Story of Virginia Hall

English

YA

Historical Figures

WWII Spy

French Resistance

Disability

Feminism

Heather Demetrios

summary

Okay so uhh Virginia Hall is the most badass person I’ve ever read about. Not only is being a spy pretty much the coolest (& most dangerous) job I could think of having, but Virginia accidentally shot her own ding dang foot off during a hunting trip and then used her prosthetic (named Cuthbert) to hide Top Secret documents in while she travelled!!

Author Heather Demetrios is also absolutely hilarious, and she is the inner raging feminist narrator that we should all be so lucky to have. Providing one of my favorite descriptions of Hitler as an “asshat with unfortunate facial hair” her writing style is reminiscent of Drunk History; which is also how I would like to receive my historical information from now on, thanks.

Virginia (nicknamed Dindy) was a boss-ass spy for the French Resistance during WWII, although because of misogyny wasn’t ever appreciated how she should have been. Dindy was integral to saving many lives of other spies and civilians alike, taking great pride in coordinating travel, meals, safe houses, and gathering information to pass onto those working with her to defeat the nazis.

It’s taking everything in me right now not to blather on about all the cool stuff that Dindy managed to accomplish, showing more gumption and chutzpah than I can ever hope to embody. Actually, I’m pretty sure Cuthbert is braver than I am, because I’m rather risk averse. This book is going to change the way narrators convey information to readers, and I’m here for each sassy line that aims to take down the patriarchy!

This book was kindly sent by Simon & Schuster, but all opinions are my own! This book is out next week, on September 7th.

Heather Demetrios

Heather Demetrios is a critically acclaimed author, writing coach, and certified meditation teacher. She has an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a recipient of the PEN America Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award for her debut novel, Something Real. Her novels include Little Universes, I’ll Meet You There, Bad Romance, as well as the Dark Caravan fantasy series: Exquisite Captive, Blood Passage, and Freedom’s Slave. Her non-fiction includes the Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection Code Name Badass: The True Story of Virginia Hall, and she is the editor of Dear Heartbreak: YA Authors and Teens on the Dark Side of Love. Her honors include books that have been named Bank Street Best Children’s Books, YALSA Best Fiction For Young Adults selections, a Goodreads Choice Nominee, a Kirkus Best Book, and a Barnes and Noble Best Book. Her work has appeared in LA Review of Books, Bustle, School Library Journal, and other fine outlets.

In addition to her writing, Heather is passionate about helping women and girls tell their stories. She works in communications for Becky’s Bathhouse, a wellness center and safe space serving refugee women in Lesvos, Greece, and is the Project Manager for The Calliope Fund, a story initiative that offers tools for women and girls to speak out against gender-based-violence. Find out more about how you can support their work here.


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