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Faceless

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An adventure about young British spies on a secret mission in Germany in WWII. Over the centuries, a small clan of spies called the Tabula Rasa has worked ceaselessly to fight oppression. They can pass unseen through enemy lines and "become" other people without being recognized. They are, essentially, faceless. Alice and Louise Winfield are sisters and spies in the Tabula An adventure about young British spies on a secret mission in Germany in WWII. Over the centuries, a small clan of spies called the Tabula Rasa has worked ceaselessly to fight oppression. They can pass unseen through enemy lines and "become" other people without being recognized. They are, essentially, faceless. Alice and Louise Winfield are sisters and spies in the Tabula Rasa. They're growing up in wartime England, where the threat of Nazi occupation is ever near. But Louise wants to live an ordinary life and leaves the agency. Now, as Alice faces her most dangerous assignment yet, she fears discovery, but, most of all, she fears losing her own sister.


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An adventure about young British spies on a secret mission in Germany in WWII. Over the centuries, a small clan of spies called the Tabula Rasa has worked ceaselessly to fight oppression. They can pass unseen through enemy lines and "become" other people without being recognized. They are, essentially, faceless. Alice and Louise Winfield are sisters and spies in the Tabula An adventure about young British spies on a secret mission in Germany in WWII. Over the centuries, a small clan of spies called the Tabula Rasa has worked ceaselessly to fight oppression. They can pass unseen through enemy lines and "become" other people without being recognized. They are, essentially, faceless. Alice and Louise Winfield are sisters and spies in the Tabula Rasa. They're growing up in wartime England, where the threat of Nazi occupation is ever near. But Louise wants to live an ordinary life and leaves the agency. Now, as Alice faces her most dangerous assignment yet, she fears discovery, but, most of all, she fears losing her own sister.

30 review for Faceless

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Grover

    Faceless is an adventure story that follows a family of spies in Germany during WWII. Alice and Louise Winfield are sisters and spies in the Tabula Rasa. They are growing up in wartime England, where the threat of Nazi occupation is very real. They are able to pass unseen through enemy lines because they have a face that is not easily recognized or remembered. They are essentially, faceless. Alice has to face her most dangerous assignment as she fears being discovered. And Louise just wants to l Faceless is an adventure story that follows a family of spies in Germany during WWII. Alice and Louise Winfield are sisters and spies in the Tabula Rasa. They are growing up in wartime England, where the threat of Nazi occupation is very real. They are able to pass unseen through enemy lines because they have a face that is not easily recognized or remembered. They are essentially, faceless. Alice has to face her most dangerous assignment as she fears being discovered. And Louise just wants to live an ordinary life and leave the agency. If you are a history buff or know a student who prefers nonfiction, this is a great book to add to your shelves.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Caylie Ratzlaff

    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC of this novel. 4.5/5 stars. The cover? Beautiful. The plot? Beautiful. The necessary world building for this secret organization of spies who have faces that can't be remembered? Amazing. Like...I was not expecting to like this as much as I did, and I hope that this becomes a series. Alice is part of the Rasa...a branch of spies who have faces that are so common, they can't be remembered. They are faceless, and people consistently forget who the Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC of this novel. 4.5/5 stars. The cover? Beautiful. The plot? Beautiful. The necessary world building for this secret organization of spies who have faces that can't be remembered? Amazing. Like...I was not expecting to like this as much as I did, and I hope that this becomes a series. Alice is part of the Rasa...a branch of spies who have faces that are so common, they can't be remembered. They are faceless, and people consistently forget who they are. Because of this, they are able to take on missions and project who they need to be on their targets and ledgers. Seriously...this is amazing. Alice gets tasked with infiltrating Hitler's life which...I mean...I knew it was a WW2 novel but I didn't realize we were going to be right in the middle of it. I sincerely could not put this book down, and I just wanted to keep reading it. The historical world building of the Rasas is phenomenal. Alice is incredibly likable. I only docked 1/2 a star because of the ~~twist~~ in the end.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Faceless is the story of a family of spies that people don't remember. Alice is the youngest (13 years old), and goes with her mom and dad to Berlin (during WWII) with a part to help in one of many missions, including Valkyrie. The fantastical addition of her "faceless" family and generations of training spies, as well, as their current mission make this a thrilling read. As Alice is nearing the age of the Fount of Life program (a program Germans used to spread reproduce "pure" children), there Faceless is the story of a family of spies that people don't remember. Alice is the youngest (13 years old), and goes with her mom and dad to Berlin (during WWII) with a part to help in one of many missions, including Valkyrie. The fantastical addition of her "faceless" family and generations of training spies, as well, as their current mission make this a thrilling read. As Alice is nearing the age of the Fount of Life program (a program Germans used to spread reproduce "pure" children), there are a few discussions of her older classmates becoming pregnant. For that reason, it would be hard to recommend to younger readers, but I would definitely recommend it to 7th grade+ . I got this ARC from Netgalley; all reviews are my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Kidwell

    Faceless by Kathryn Lasky HarperCollins Children's Books HarperCollins Children's Fiction | Historical Fiction | Middle Grade Pub Date 19 Oct 2021 I am reviewing a copy of Faceless through HarperCollins Children’s Books and Netgalley: For centuries a small clan clan of spies called the Tabula Rasa has worked ceaselessly to fight oppression. They can pass unseen through enemy lines and “become” other people without being recognized. They are in essence Faceless. Alice and Louise Winfield are spies in Faceless by Kathryn Lasky HarperCollins Children's Books HarperCollins Children's Fiction | Historical Fiction | Middle Grade Pub Date 19 Oct 2021 I am reviewing a copy of Faceless through HarperCollins Children’s Books and Netgalley: For centuries a small clan clan of spies called the Tabula Rasa has worked ceaselessly to fight oppression. They can pass unseen through enemy lines and “become” other people without being recognized. They are in essence Faceless. Alice and Louise Winfield are spies in the Tabula Rasa. They are growing up,in England during the Second World War with the threat of Nazi Occupation always near. But Louise wants to live an ordinary life and leaves the agency. Now, as Alice faces her most dangerous assignment yet, she fears discovery, but, most of all, she fears losing her own sister. Faceless is an upper middle grade novel full of espionage and historical adventure and will appeal to fans of Elizabeth Wein and Ruta Sepetys. Lasky masterfully spins a tale filled with mystery, suspense, and intrigue that will have readers hooked. Faceless would make a great introduction to open discussions about the Second World War. I give Faceless five out of five stars! Happy Reading!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alex Baugh

    Imagine having the kind of face that is unrecognizable to people, a face that they just don't remember or recall even if they had been talking to you only minutes before. Now imagine how useful that forgettable face would be when it came to the art of spying. Well, that is the premise of Faceless. Alice Winfield, 12, her mother Posie, father Alan, and older sister Louise, 18, are part of a unique group of people with forgettable faces, "nonfaces that were like tabulae rasas or blank slates." (pg Imagine having the kind of face that is unrecognizable to people, a face that they just don't remember or recall even if they had been talking to you only minutes before. Now imagine how useful that forgettable face would be when it came to the art of spying. Well, that is the premise of Faceless. Alice Winfield, 12, her mother Posie, father Alan, and older sister Louise, 18, are part of a unique group of people with forgettable faces, "nonfaces that were like tabulae rasas or blank slates." (pg 6) And British Rasas had been serving their country as spies since the days of Henry VIII. Now, however, Louise has decided to leaving spying and have plastic surgery that would give her a recognizable face - something that Alice just can't understand. But it's 1944, and before she has too much time to think too much about it, Alice is parachuting into Germany with her mother on her first real spying mission and joining her father in Berlin. Her mission is to spy on Adolf Hitler. Posing as a schoolgirl named Ute, Alice wins the Reichs Praktikum for a chance to be an intern in Hitler's household, going where he goes and assessing his mental health. Her mentor for this spy mission is Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, Reichs hero and secretly part of Operation Valkyrie, the plot to kill Hitler, and now Alice is right in the thick of that conspiracy. In the midst of this intrigue Alice/Ute meets David, a starving Jewish boy who has been hiding out in the house his family used to lived in before they were deported. The house is now occupied by Colonel Ernst Schmelling, a high ranking Nazi. David has been eating scraps of food out of the Schmelling garbage cans to survive. Alice begins sneaking food to David and they gradually become friends. Oddly enough, David never forgets her, recognizing her face each time they meet. On top of all that, one day Alice is sure she has seen Louise among the crowds of people in Berlin. But what would she be doing there? Is she a double agent, or has she gone over to the other side? Whatever it is, Alice is determined to find Louise and confront her. With the war turning in the Allies favor, especially after the failure of Operation Valkyrie (not a spoiler, we all know what happened), and the success of the July 6, 1944 Normandy landings (D-Day), things are becoming quite dangerous as the tension mounts. It took me a while to get into this book, but once I did, I was hooked. The whole business about Rasa confused me at first, but once I realized it was a fiction, I just went with it. It was interesting to see the last days of the Third Reich through Alice's eyes, and Lasky included lots of good information about what it was like to be in Hitler's inner circle. But there were some things that bothered me. It was a little to repetitive at times, especially in the beginning of the book. And I kept wondering how the local baker was about to bake such wonderful bread and cookies in 1944, when most people were starving (except Nazis, of course). There was also a big error on page 102, which I think was just a typo - it said that was the commandant of Auschwitz was Rudolf Hess, but it was actually Rudolf Höss. Rudolf Hess was a prisoner in the Tower of London in 1944. You can see how easy it is to confuse the two names, though. One last thing bothered me - on page 114 it says there isn't a cozy name for mother in German, but that's exactly was Mutti is. These things will definitely not spoil your reading of Faceless, but as a person with a PhD in Germanic Languages and Literature who's also a little OCD, I just couldn't let them go. However, despite these things, I really did enjoy reading this novel. Faceless is a story that will appeal to readers who enjoy WWII fiction, historical fiction, and spy novels and I do recommend it. This book is recommended for readers age 9+ This book was a digital book gratefully received from NetGalley

  6. 5 out of 5

    Missy

    Faceless offers an historical fiction novel with a wholly unique twist. The plot centers on an espionage group, based out of the UK, founded under the reign of King Henry VIII. Membership in this group often flows through family lines due to the special nature of the spies; they have physical appearances that are entirely forgetful. They blend into any situation because they are essentially "blank slates." Cleverly, Lasky names the group the Tabula Rasa. This isn't fantasy or science fiction. The Faceless offers an historical fiction novel with a wholly unique twist. The plot centers on an espionage group, based out of the UK, founded under the reign of King Henry VIII. Membership in this group often flows through family lines due to the special nature of the spies; they have physical appearances that are entirely forgetful. They blend into any situation because they are essentially "blank slates." Cleverly, Lasky names the group the Tabula Rasa. This isn't fantasy or science fiction. The members have forgetful appearances through some anomaly of nature. Faceless is closer to speculative fiction; what would have happened if there were a group of nondescript people who received an extraordinary level of espionage training that allowed them to move through deadly environments and among dangerous people? The deadly environment and dangerous people of Faceless is wartime Germany and the highest members of the Third Reich. Alice Winfield has often moved with her parents and sisters, all members of the Tabula Rasa, through perilous situations. Their work in Germany is the first time that Alice is actually taking an active role in espionage. Alice is eager to move into this more responsible role and has a reasonable fear about the situation despite her extensive training. Another change in the life of Alice's family/spy cell is that the oldest daughter, Louise, is "retiring" from active duty. Lasky provides an excellent view of Nazi Germany through the eyes of a young girl, albeit a young girl with remarkable skills and the highly unusual nature of being entirely forgetful. The world-building presented earlier in the story supports the almost unbelievable narrative. I think it would be very interesting for Lasky to offer other stories about the Tabula Rasa in various historical eras. As I read Faceless and about the work of Alice and Louise, I was reminded of the White Rose, a resistance group active in Nazi Germany that was founded by a group of 5 university students and a professor. These young people faced great personal danger, and eventually execution, to tell the truth about the atrocities undertaken by the Nazis and make a dent in the tyrannous government.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Traci

    NetGalley ARC Alice, a thirteen year British girl, is a Rasa spy. So are her parents and her older sister. Rasas have a condition that prevents anyone from remembering their faces. As children they attend summer camps where they learn multiple languages and other useful skills. This book is about Alice’s first mission, in which she infiltrates Hitler’s inner circle toward the end of WWII, by assuming the identity of a top German student who is allowed to serve as part of his household staff at va NetGalley ARC Alice, a thirteen year British girl, is a Rasa spy. So are her parents and her older sister. Rasas have a condition that prevents anyone from remembering their faces. As children they attend summer camps where they learn multiple languages and other useful skills. This book is about Alice’s first mission, in which she infiltrates Hitler’s inner circle toward the end of WWII, by assuming the identity of a top German student who is allowed to serve as part of his household staff at various locations, including his bunker. Pros You learn a lot about Hitler’s inner circle, his movements and his state of mind towards the end of the war, in addition to the conditions in Berlin at that time. The intended audience will enjoy the fact that a character so close in age to their own not only has a job, but an important and dangerous one. Cons There same information was repeated in several places. There were three storylines( Alice’s mission, the young Jewish boy she helps, and a mystery surrounding her sister) & none of them were really fleshed out so therefore I wasn’t that invested in any of them. I will recommend it to fans of WWII fiction because of the main character’s unique perspective from inside Hitler’s inner circle.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Harrison

    4.5 Stars Faceless starts out with a good hook, but it takes more than a few pages to get your bearings. Once you do, however, you understand the storytelling choices author Kathryn Lasky has made. Most of the time, Alice feels older than her years. She’s confident and well-prepared for her assignment. But there are a few moments when her insecurities peak through, and that’s what makes her interesting. There are a few “main” supporting characters, but it’s Alice’s experiences that take center sta 4.5 Stars Faceless starts out with a good hook, but it takes more than a few pages to get your bearings. Once you do, however, you understand the storytelling choices author Kathryn Lasky has made. Most of the time, Alice feels older than her years. She’s confident and well-prepared for her assignment. But there are a few moments when her insecurities peak through, and that’s what makes her interesting. There are a few “main” supporting characters, but it’s Alice’s experiences that take center stage. Among Alice’s experiences are flashbacks to spy training, uncovering mission assignments and the actual events of her mission, which are full of suspense and bursts of high adrenaline. All these moments play out cinematic pacing and smooth prose. Faceless is the sort of story I would have loved as a middle-reader and that I still enjoy today. Her mix of espionage and historical drama make for a fast-paced and engaging adventure. I would recommend this for fourth- and fifth-graders.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Kathryn Lasky is an author I have read before and adored her books. So I was excited to give this one a try. I’m also a huge WW11 reader, one of my favorite things to read about. For me Faceless started out really slow and felt repetitive until about 30% in. However after that the story picked up pace and was more interesting. My favorite part was Alice’s interactions with David . This book made me cry at a certain part that I will leave unsaid so this review is spoiler free, just know I cried. Kathryn Lasky is an author I have read before and adored her books. So I was excited to give this one a try. I’m also a huge WW11 reader, one of my favorite things to read about. For me Faceless started out really slow and felt repetitive until about 30% in. However after that the story picked up pace and was more interesting. My favorite part was Alice’s interactions with David . This book made me cry at a certain part that I will leave unsaid so this review is spoiler free, just know I cried. Alice was a likable character and I enjoyed the story from her perspective. There is one instance where she finds herself being looked over in a threatening way by an older man and while nothing happens ,I just wanted to mention that for triggering reasons. All in all an ok read , but not in my top favorites of Kathryn Laskys. Thank you for Netgalley for the review copy!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC of this novel. This did not affect my review at all. This was a great book about spying on the Nazis! Alice is a member of the Tabula Rosa, an elite group of spies who are almost “faceless” and are very easy to forget. She is cleared for a Level A mission and is sent to England to try and earn a position spying on high ranking Nazi officers, eventually even working her way up to being near Adolf Hitler himself. She helps the Allies get very useful Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC of this novel. This did not affect my review at all. This was a great book about spying on the Nazis! Alice is a member of the Tabula Rosa, an elite group of spies who are almost “faceless” and are very easy to forget. She is cleared for a Level A mission and is sent to England to try and earn a position spying on high ranking Nazi officers, eventually even working her way up to being near Adolf Hitler himself. She helps the Allies get very useful information to attack. Faceless was a great novel for an older middle grade/younger young adult audience! It was very exciting and full of twists and turns! However, some parts were a bit dull, but the right reader would not care at all. Kathryn Lasky does not disappoint! Grades 7+.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss I really loved this author's The Extra and Ashes, also set during WWII, but I wasn't sure if the Rasa spies were real or not, and I got very confused. There were a lot of good details about the lives of spies, and a lot of action, but I couldn't get past the thought that this was a bit of a fantasy. I'll definitely pick up a finished copy of the book to check for notes about this, but since the WWII unit is being moved out of 8th grade and I already have a large numbe E ARC provided by Edelweiss I really loved this author's The Extra and Ashes, also set during WWII, but I wasn't sure if the Rasa spies were real or not, and I got very confused. There were a lot of good details about the lives of spies, and a lot of action, but I couldn't get past the thought that this was a bit of a fantasy. I'll definitely pick up a finished copy of the book to check for notes about this, but since the WWII unit is being moved out of 8th grade and I already have a large number of books about WWII, I might pass on purchase.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carol Youssif

    I really wanted to like this book! The writing style is definitely for older people than the intended audience, which drove me nuts. It read like an adult book for middle schoolers. I had a hard time getting past this. Overall, the story has some interesting elements, ie spies during WWII, but ultimately the story moves slowly, there's a lot of German and period words (that even I as an adult had to look up, imagine a 12yo), and it's hard to connect with Alice, the main character. This book was ju I really wanted to like this book! The writing style is definitely for older people than the intended audience, which drove me nuts. It read like an adult book for middle schoolers. I had a hard time getting past this. Overall, the story has some interesting elements, ie spies during WWII, but ultimately the story moves slowly, there's a lot of German and period words (that even I as an adult had to look up, imagine a 12yo), and it's hard to connect with Alice, the main character. This book was just ok.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Capturing Luminous

    Faceless by Kathryn Lasky An intriguing and adventurous story that follows a family of spies in Germany during WWII. A historical upper middle grade novel perfect for readers who enjoy suspense and mystery with great historical detail. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you NetGalley!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kati

    Do you have a child who is a history buff? Prefers non-fiction… great book Do you have a child who prefers fiction? Enough fiction and fun while sneaking in facts. Great for bright 8 years old -14 year old readers in my opinion

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Buxton

    C-. fiction YA, historical fiction, WWII, young girl in trained as a spy

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Morrell

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anne

  18. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Cheresnick

  19. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie Geitz

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cat

  21. 4 out of 5

    L.C. Watson

  22. 5 out of 5

    Scout

  23. 4 out of 5

    Katy

  24. 5 out of 5

    Allie

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

  26. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

  27. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  28. 4 out of 5

    Petre

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sdz123

  30. 5 out of 5

    Frie

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