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The Enigma Girls: How Ten Teenagers Broke Ciphers, Kept Secrets, and Helped Win World War II (Scholastic Focus)
March 5, 2024  /  384 pages  (is this book fiction or nonfiction?)

From award-winning author Candace Fleming, comes the powerful and fascinating story of the brave and dedicated young women who helped turn the tides of World War II for the Allies, with their hard work and determination at Bletchley Park.

Scholastic Focus is the premier home of thoroughly researched, beautifully written, and thoughtfully designed works of narrative nonfiction aimed at middle-grade and young adult readers. These books help readers learn about the world in which they live and develop their critical thinking skills so that they may become dynamic citizens who are able to analyze and understand our past, participate in essential discussions about our present, and work to grow and build our future.

"You are to report to Station X at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, in four days time....That is all you need to know." This was the terse telegram hundreds of young women throughout the British Isles received in the spring of 1941, as World War II raged. As they arrived at Station X, a sprawling mansion in a state of disrepair surrounded by Spartan-looking huts with little chimneys coughing out thick smoke—these young people had no idea what kind of work they were stepping into. Who had recommended them? Why had they been chosen? Most would never learn all the answers to these questions.

Bletchley Park was a well-kept secret during World War II, operating under the code name Station X. The critical work of code-cracking Nazi missives that went on behind its closed doors could determine a victory or loss against Hitler’s army. Amidst the brilliant cryptographers, flamboyant debutantes, and absent-minded professors working there, it was teenaged girls who kept Station X running. Some could do advanced math, while others spoke a second language. They ran the unwieldy bombe machines, made sense of wireless sound waves, and sorted the decoded messages. They were expected to excel in their fields and most importantly: know how to keep a secret.

Candace Fleming is the award-winning and highly acclaimed author of Crash from Outer Space, The Curse of the Mummy, and many other nonfiction books for young readers. With her canny and compelling narrative voice she makes history come alive. Thick with tension and suspense, this is an extraordinary and relatively unknown story of World War II that will fascinate readers who will be thrilled to see young people playing such an important role in the wartime effort.

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