The Darkest Hour

by Caroline Tung Richmond

Scholastic Press
August 2016

Ages 13 – 15 . Grades 8 – 10

Lexile measure: 790L


Guided Reading: Z+

My name is Lucie Blaise.
I am sixteen years old.
I have many aliases, but I am none of the girls you see.
What I am is the newest recruit of Covert Ops.
And we are here to take down Hitler.

After the Nazis killed my brother on the North African front, I volunteered at the Office of Strategic Services in Washington to do my part for the war effort. Only instead of a desk job at the OSS, I was tapped to join the Clandestine Operations--a secret espionage and sabotage organization of girls. Six months ago, I was deployed to German-occupied France to gather intelligence and eliminate Nazi targets.
My current mission: Track down and interrogate a Nazi traitor about a weapon that threatens to wipe out all of Western Europe. Then find and dismantle the weapon before Hitler detonates it. But the deeper I investigate, the more danger I'm in. Because the fate of the free world hangs in the balance, and trusting the wrong person could cause millions of lives to be lost. Including my own.
Caroline Tung Richmond

Caroline Tung Richmond is the author of the alternative history novels The Only Thing to Fear and Live in Infamy, as well as the historical fiction novel The Darkest Hour. A self-proclaimed history nerd and cookie connoisseur, Caroline lives in Virginia with her family and her dog, Otto von Bismarck -- named for the German chancellor (naturally).


--- - ! "\"They’re coming!\" I shout to Sabine. Two Nazi soldiers are stumbling toward us, still coughing from the tear gas. I throw my dagger at the first, and the blade hits home, plunging into his shoulder. He falls to his knees with a cry, but the other soldier leaps over him and points a finger at us.
\t\"To the back!” Sabine tells me. \t
\tWe hurtle through the door that leads outside. The wind snatches at our hair and tosses strands of our wigs into our faces. I tear the thing off and let it fly out of my hands. The ground beneath us is a dizzying blur, and I remember the L-pill in my pocket, but we can still make it off this train. Sabine pushes me forward until my stomach hits the metal railing, the last barrier between me and the tracks. \t
\t\"Don’t lock your knees,\" she tells me. \t
\t\"Wait—\" \
\t\"There’s no other choice!\" She turns back to fire a round, and I quash the alarm lodged in my throat.
\tCalm and collected.
\tCalm and collected.
\tOh, never mind.
\tI clamber over the rails. The wind blasts against my body, stealing tears from my eyes" - ! " and even though I haven’t done this in months I make the sign of the cross. \
\t\"Hail Mary, full of grace,\" I whisper.
\tWith that prayer on my lips, I jump."
Electronic book text

ISBN: 9780545801287

320pp. | 5-½ x 8-¼