The War that Saved My Life
By: Kimberly Bradley
By: Kimberly Bradley
Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother refues to let Ada out due to her clubbed foot. 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 as the War goes on, Ada's mom comes back and forces Ada and Jamie to come home. Ada must find a way to win her own war and go back home with Susan.
I LOVED this book! I have heard talk of it being on the Newbery list, and I can see why. It has some new things to offer to the WWII genre, and it is beautifully written. I enjoyed the theme of the story which was that people with disabilities can do anything. Ada even caught a spy. How much cooler can you get? I also felt like it did a great job of describing the British attitude and hardships during the war. I was especially interested in the bombing.
It reminded me a lot of The Book Thief in the aspect of describing the bombing.
Even though I think this book is phenomenal, please proceed with caution when using this book for reader's advisory.
Some things to be aware of in reader's advisory with this book:
1. It describes some extreme forms of abuse that may upset some readers.
For instance, Ada is locked away in a cabinet for long periods of time & forced to use the facilities in a bucket.
It also ends with her mom telling her that she never wanted her at all - which I myself had some trouble reading.
2. It is hinted that Susan Smith (Ada's guardian) was involved in a lesbian relationship.
It does not go into detail about her relationship. Susan's partner passed away, but it does dance around this relationship for the majority of the book.
I would not recommend this to families who are uncomfortable with gay / lesbian relationships.
Please note that I am just noting these reasons for reader's advisory purposes & school purposes.
I feel like one has to be extra careful with middle grade books in advisory due to the array of maturity levels,
I do think that this book is buzz worthy for the right audience though!
Have you read this novel? What did you think of it?
Until next time,