The Enigma Girls: How Ten Teenagers Broke Ciphers, Kept Secrets, and Helped Win World War II (Scholastic Focus) (Hardcover)

The Enigma Girls: How Ten Teenagers Broke Ciphers, Kept Secrets, and Helped Win World War II (Scholastic Focus) By Candace Fleming Cover Image


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.

About the Author

Candace Fleming is the versatile and acclaimed author of more than twenty books for children and young adults, including Crash from Outer Space: Unraveling the Mystery of Flying Saucers, Alien Beings, and Roswell; The Curse of the Mummy: Uncovering Tutankhamun’s Tomb; The Enigma Girls: How Ten Teenagers Broke Ciphers, Kept Secrets, and Helped Win World War II; The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh, winner of the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award; the Sibert Award winner Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera; the Los Angeles Times Book Prize winner and Sibert Honor Book The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of the Russian Empire; and the critically acclaimed Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart. Visit Candace Fleming online at She lives outside of Chicago.

Praise For…

Praise for Crash from Outer Space: Unraveling the Mystery of Flying Saucers, Alien Beings, and Roswell:

* "An exhilarating read, a useful classroom resource, and ultimately an illuminating look at human nature and the modern fascination with UFOs." -- Booklist, starred review

“…perfect for young readers who want the “who-what-when-where-why” of America’s most notorious purported alien sightings....As Fleming details some infamous reports of U.F.O.s and U.A.P.s (unidentified aerial phenomena), she appeals to young readers to think critically and apply the Sagan Standard: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” This, to my mind, makes her book particularly worthwhile, a much-needed counter to the tangled history of fraudulent sightings.” -- The New York Times

Praise for The Curse of the Mummy:

* "In Fleming's capable hands, the story of the boy king and Howard Carter's discovery of his tomb brims with enthusiasm, wonder, and mystique." -- Booklist, starred review

"The Curse of the Mummy...will draw children's interest with a sense of lurid promise and keep them reading..." -- Wall Street Journal

Praise for The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia:

Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature

Winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Nonfiction

A Robert F. Sibert Honor Book

A YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award Finalist

Winner of the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction

* "A remarkable human story, told with clarity and confidence." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "A wonderful introduction to this era in Russian history and a great read for those already familiar with it." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "For readers who regard history as dull, Fleming's extraordinary book is proof positive that, on the contrary, it is endlessly fascinating, absorbing as any novel, and the stuff of an altogether memorable reading experience." -- Booklist, starred review

* "Fleming has outdone herself with this riveting work of narrative nonfiction that appeals to the imagination as much as the intellect." -- The Horn Book, starred review

* "This is both a sobering work, and the account of the discovery of their bones and the aftermath is at once fascinating and distressing. A solid resource and good recreational reading for high school students." -- School Library Journal, starred review

* "With comprehensive source notes and bibliographies of print and online materials, this will be a boon to student researchers, but it's also a heartbreaking page-turner for YAs who prefer their nonfiction to read like a novel." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

Praise for Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart:

* "Handwritten notes, photos, maps and inquisitive sidebars (What did Earhart eat during flight? Tomato juice and chocolate) complete this impeccably researched, appealing package. A stunning look at an equally stunning lady." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "The book's structure and scope, along with the story's inherent drama, provide a taut, cinematic backdrop for the history of Earhart's doomed flight." -- The Horn Book Magazine, starred review

* "Ho-hum history? Not in Fleming's apt hands. What could be a dry recitation of facts and dates is instead a gripping and suspenseful thriller... This book is splendid. Hand it to everyone." -- School Library Journal, starred review

* "Fleming cleverly structures this biography to give the tale of tragedy a fresh and dreadful impact... As a result, this offers not only a provocative introduction to Earhart but also compelling glimpse of what it was like to watch her disappear from the world." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

Product Details
ISBN: 9781338749571
ISBN-10: 1338749579
Publisher: Scholastic Focus
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 384
Language: English