Book review by Aarene Storms:

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The Enigma Game by Elizabeth Wein

Louisa is a 15-year-old mixed-race girl living in WWII London... and, thanks to German bombs, she is suddenly an orphan who needs to make a living. Jobs for "colored" girls are scarce, so Louisa ends up in Scotland as the companion to an elderly woman who is hiding a secret: she was born in Germany.

The potential outcasts keep adding to their ranks: first with Ellen, a Traveller ("tinker/Gypsy") girl and later a German defector who leaves them with a tool that can save England: an Enigma code-breaking device.

Readers of this author's previous books will recognize many returning characters, including Ellen (Pearl Thief) and Julie Beaufort-Stewart (Code Name Verity), as well as Julie's charming older brother Jamie. This book, while not as edge-of-chair suspenseful as Code Name Verity, stands alone well as a tale of powerful friendships and strength against adversity.

Some cussing, no sex, minimal blood and violence (especially considering this book is about the RAF fliers during WWII), plenty of bullying, prejudice, and a bit of sexual harassment, especially from the obnoxious American.

Recommended for readers ages 14 to adult.

Aarene Storms is a librarian who reads and reviews books for all ages. She can be reached at


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