The War That Saved My Life

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Modern Age

The War That Saved My Life
Author: Brubaker Bradley, Kimberly
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Time Period: Modern Age
Time Frame: 1939-1945
Geographic Area: Europe
Country: Great Britain
Topics: WWII
Genre: Fiction
Reading Age: Middle Grade
Format: Chapter Book
Published: 2015

Content Warning
child abuse

World History > Modern Age > WWII

Ten-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 for 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?

Emily's Review

This book stole my heart completely. I've read it several times and it holds up ever time. Ada is one of my favorite heroines in children's literature. She is strong and determined while facing so many obstacles. Abused by her mother because of her clubfoot, she has been confined to her tiny London apartment her entire life. When the children are being sent away right before the Blitz, she decides that this is her chance to escape with her little brother Jamie. Thus begins an adventure that will forever change her life.

The children are taken in by Susan, a woman who had no intention of caring for children because her grief has made it nearly impossible to care for herself. Ada and Jamie find that the world is so much bigger than they ever knew while Susan finds a reason to open her heart again. Their relationship is beautiful and I love the way that Susan helps Ada to see her worth.

This is one of those middle-grade books that has universal appeal. Adults and children alike will fall in love with the characters. I highly recommend this as a read aloud with children ages 9+

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