The Darkest Hour

320p. ebook available. Scholastic. Aug. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545801270.
Gr 8 Up—Following the loss of her brother on the African front in World War II, American Lucie Blaise joins a covert operations group in France. Tasked with unspeakable acts of espionage, Lucie and a cadre of other fearless women work tirelessly for the Allies. When a young Austrian comes forward with information about sinister Nazi plans, Lucie and her comrades in arms must decide whether to trust him and act on what could be a disastrous turning point in the war. Rife with action and intrigue, this work explores a little-known history of women in World War II. The novel passes the Bechdel test with flying colors as the two protagonists and occasional rivals escape Nazis on trains, down alleyways, and through the countryside. While the narrative takes a turn for the outlandish as the book progresses, Richmond makes clear in her author's note that the stories she is illuminating were no less than extraordinary.
VERDICT Fast-paced and fascinating, this book is sure to please readers in search of a historical adventure.

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