CODE GIRLS, Young Readers Edition

Ages: 8 - 12Producer: Hachette Audio


With a gentle but serious voice, Christine Lakin reads the 6.5-hour audio story of Code Girls, the true saga of a secret “army” of female cryptographers whose work was crucial during World War II. Recruited from small towns and elite colleges, more than 10,000 women moved to Washington, D.C. to learn the meticulous, intricate work of code breaking.

Listeners will learn the history of that time period, including explanations of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the battle of Normandy before getting fully into the women and their lives in Washington, D.C. Their secret work involved code systems and code groups, ciphers, encryptions, additives, false addition math and more. With the “fate of the free world” resting on the Code Girls shoulders, the gravity of the situation is clear.

In the forward, author Liza Mundy explains that these women “believed in America and they believed in themselves.” And they emerged as leaders. Their talents were underestimated. These young women succeeded in doing tasks most adults would find impossible. “Perhaps you at some point in your life have felt underestimated— adults in your life didn’t get you. You’ve longed for the chance to prove yourself, that you can do more than ever realized.” Lakin’s clear tones (she sounds like your big sister), and Mundy’s clear writing, make this significant multifaceted story a straightforward listen.

Ann Oldenburg ©2019 Parents’ Choice

Ann Oldenburg, lecturer and interim director of the journalism program at Georgetown University, writes about television, food, workplace issues and other pop culture topics. A University of Florida Gator with a degree in journalism, she began her career at The Washington Post and spent more than two decades with USA TODAY. She and her husband have three sons and live in McLean, Virginia.

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