The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
I’ve read and enjoyed other books by this author in the past, and the topic of her newest sounded particularly interesting, so I expected to like it. Instead I found myself amazed at the job she did with this story, and thinking I need to reread it soon to more fully appreciate the character growth and development.
It would have been easy for the book to be unbalanced – too far one way and it’d have been depressing and too much for a children’s title. Too far the other way and it’d have been unrealistic shallow and light-hearted. It manages to stay balanced while telling a heart-wrenching tale. Ada’s voice felt very real to me, and how she changes throughout the story was believable, and so satisfying.
If you’re looking for a book that teaches aspects of World War II without being a “we’re going to learn about World War II today” sort of textbook, this one touches on many facets of the war and life in England at that time: child evacuees, bombing raids, rationing, Land Girls, victory gardens, the Dunkirk evacuation, and more.
Highly recommended, but with cautions. Ada is horrendously abused by her mother both physically and emotionally (never described in graphic detail, but it’s clearly stated), so be aware of that before handing the book over to younger readers.
An exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War 2, from the acclaimed author of Jefferson’s Sons and for fans of Number the Stars.
Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.
So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?
This masterful work of historical fiction is equal parts adventure and a moving tale of family and identity—a classic in the making.
Title: The War that Saved My Life
Author: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Category: Juvenile Fiction
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
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