Title: The War that Saved My Life
Author: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Publish Date/Publisher: January 8, 2015/Dial Books
Awards: Newbery Honor (2016), Schneider Family Book Award for Middle School (2016), Odyssey Award (2016), Goodreads Choice Award for Middle Grade & Children’s (2015)
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
Kimberly has done it yet again. I was gripped right from the start. The writing was so beautiful and easy to understand. I hated how Ada was abused by her mother, but I loved how her younger brother Jamie had such a close relationship with her. I admired the fact that Jamie was patient with her while helping her learn simple things that every child should know, but Ada sadly did not know since she was locked away for all of those years. Susan grew on me like she did Ada and Jamie. I loved Ada’s growing love for horses that started to develop when she met the horse in Susan’s yard.
Every character had big development throughout the story. Susan started to love the kids, Ada started to learn new things, become less frightened and voice her opinions, and Jamie started to become more independent in love, and confident with himself.
The war aspect of this novel made the story more thrilling and tense, resulting in me frantically flipping the pages, eager to see what happens next. I wish there was just a bit more on the war plot to really develop the story, so I could get a better feel for the characters emotions. I normally do not read Middle Grade, but I heard so many wonderful things ab0ut this book and I had to check it out.
The book all tied together, in the end, leaving me with a satisfied heart, and a smile on my face. If you normally do not reach for MG (Middle Grade,) I believe that this book will compel you to pick up more Middle-Grade novels, or just leave an everlasting smile on your face.
Five out of Five stars, to The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.