cover image Faceless


Kathryn Lasky. HarperCollins, $16.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-269331-0

Set during WWII, Newbery Honoree Lasky’s intense historical drama follows a white family of spies whose tradition of serving Great Britain dates back to Henry VIII. Thirteen-year-old Alice Winfield has for years trained for her first A-level mission, and her celebrated older sister, Louise, once promised to be her guide. But when Louise opts out of the family business, only Alice and her mother join the teens’ undercover father on a secret mission in Berlin: taking down Hitler. Upon arrival, Alice becomes Ute, a German girl “certified to be... Aryan, with no contamination of foreign blood.” As Alice works to achieve high marks in school and remain as unnoticeable and unmemorable as the “tabula rasas” from which she is descended, she finds herself dangerously drawn to an unhoused boy. With a well-detailed historical backdrop and a puzzling familial mystery, this novel delivers intrigue via tense scenes involving Hitler himself. Albeit fictional, this up-close glimpse at the historical figure’s inner circle and last days centers an unnervingly calm protagonist maintaining an elaborate ruse while navigating the increasingly dangerous streets of Berlin, where knowing who is friend and foe determines survival. Ages 8–12. Agent: Brenda Bowen, the Book Group. (Oct.)