Thursday, February 5

The War that Saved My Life

The War that Saved My Life
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

My rating: ★★★★

ISBN: 978-0803740815
Publisher: Dial
Date of publication: January 8, 2015
Age: Grades 4 - 7
Genre: Historical Fiction

Themes: WWII, love, family relationships, disabilities, abuse

Ada has never been outside her family's one-room apartment—her mother is too ashamed of her club foot. But when the time comes to ship her little brother, Jaime, out of London to escape the impending war, Ada sneaks out with him. And so the two end up with Susan Smith, a single woman in Kent who does not want children. But as Ada adjusts to life in the country and begins a real education, Susan adjusts to having the kids with her—perhaps even love them. But will her love survive a war? And the return of the kids' cruel mother?

This is a fantastic story, beautifully written to the point where anytime I wasn't reading it, I was still thinking about it. While not necessarily action-packed, it's emotionally-packed. Told in first person, Ada has a lot of emotional trauma to work through after moving from an abusive home to Susan's home—and Bradley does it right. Ada has amazing depth and believability.

However, the other characters fell a bit flat. Especially the mother. I had trouble understanding the mother's motivations (her cruelty, mainly). She's just plain mean. A lot of the stock characters in the village were pretty common. Still, overall, for it's emotional impact, I'd recommend it for sure.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

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