The War That Saved My Life

The War That Saved My Life

Book - 2015
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A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother.
Publisher: New York : Dial Books for Young Readers/Penguin Group , 2015
ISBN: 9780803740815
0803740816
Characteristics: 316 p. ; 22 cm

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OPL_KIDS Apr 29, 2020

The War That Saved My Life is a moving (and sometimes emotionally challenging) story about Ada and her brother's fight to survive World War II while coping with Ada's uncorrected club foot. In Ada's case, the fight for survival is as much a mental fight as a physical one due to the emotional and physical abuse that she endured from her mother. The abuse leaves her with mental scars that create challenges even as the plot develops and situations improve. The depth of emotion in this story feels a bit shallow at times, but I can see as to why that might be called for in a children's novel dealing with such an emotionally challenging issue. It may even have been written that way to more fully express Ada's fluctuating ability to process and cope with the traumas she experienced. Parents should be made aware that there is one instance in which Ada's mother calls someone a word that some parents may consider inappropriate for some children. There was also one particular plot resolution that I felt was unrealistic, but not so notable as to affect the overall value of the story. Overall, it's definitely a book I would recommend to anyone interested in juvenile historical fiction (as long as they are ready for the emotionally challenging content). Additionally, readers who enjoy this story should DEFINITELY read the sequel, entitled The War I Finally Won. It's even better than the first.

Reviewed by Miss Allison

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michaelwager
Mar 28, 2020

Ada is kept locked up by her abusive mother due to her deformed “ugly foot”. When it’s announced that her younger brother Jamie will be going to the country to escape the World War II bombing of London, Ada sees her chance and runs off with Jamie to join him. They are taken in by (or rather forced on) the reluctant but benevolent Susan Smith. At first, Ada and Jamie struggle to adjust to life away from their mother, but they slowly learn to trust Susan as she learns to love them. Ada learns to ride a horse, to read, and to appreciate that her foot is a long way from her brain and doesn’t define who she is or what she can do.

Ada’s tale of recovery and escape against the backdrop of a horrifying war is powerful and poignant. Bradley’s characters are incredibly realistic and believable, especially Ada. Her trust issues, rebellious nature, protective instincts, and determination make her a strong three-dimensional character that I can really believe in. The setting is extensively researched and presented. I had never realized just how real the threat of German invasion of England was. From the nightly air raids to the threat and reality of watching for spies, to the fact that they dug a hole in the yard so that they could bury their radio in case of an invasion, the war came to life in a different way than it has in anything else I’ve read about the time period. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel.

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indigo_cheetah_423
Mar 16, 2020

The story was pretty sad at the beginning, because the protagonist, Ada, was being abused and treated like scum by her own mother, but then this really nice lady took Ada and her brother in. Great book that talks about hard stuff, but still good for kids.

r
red_butterfly_4693
Jan 22, 2020

Great book, but it definitely deals with some tuff topics. However I definitely think everyone should read this book at least once. And even though it was a little slow toward the middle I definitely enjoyed the book overall.

b
becker
Jan 13, 2020

This is one of the best middle grade books I have read in a long time. It would be a great read-aloud and would deliver a good history lesson disguised as a terrific story.

r
ruthlaurence
Dec 07, 2019

I-

thats tuff

ArapahoeTina Nov 20, 2019

I loved sharing this book with my 11-year-old daughter. Ada's story is simultaneously heartbreaking and uplifting. This one hit all the right notes.

u
userkristine
Oct 05, 2019

TW/CW for abuse & mental health descriptions

The War That Saved My Life is such a beautiful story about love and family and hardship. I wanted to comfort Ada and Jamie so badly. Kimberly Brubaker Bradley has such a way with words and describing emotions without straight out telling you about the emotion. I definitely found myself sobbing at one point.

I'm kind of okay with just reading this one and not reading the second book in the series, but we'll see how I'll feel in the future.

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mercat_07
Aug 18, 2019

The War that Saved My Life is such a good book, and I recommended it to all of my friends when I finished it. With an uncommon story, but a heartbreaking one, it is sure to draw you in and have you rushing to get the sequel, The War I Finally Won.
Happy reading!

j
J_Kidd
Jun 11, 2019

Amazing book that kids who love the historical fiction novels would like. I definitely would suggest to 5th grader and up for the thrill of drama and sadness.

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Age

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violet_monkey_2400
May 26, 2020

violet_monkey_2400 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 13

b
blue_tiger_3874
Apr 02, 2020

blue_tiger_3874 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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VanessaL52
Feb 01, 2020

VanessaL52 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

r
red_butterfly_4693
Jan 22, 2020

red_butterfly_4693 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 15

ArapahoeTina Dec 05, 2019

ArapahoeTina thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

b
blue_dolphin_14353
Oct 20, 2019

blue_dolphin_14353 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

m
mercat_07
Aug 18, 2019

mercat_07 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

b
black_swan_259
Feb 18, 2019

black_swan_259 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 99

green_alligator_4170 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

a
AnonymousLibrarian
Jan 17, 2019

AnonymousLibrarian thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

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Quotes

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ArapahoeTina Feb 06, 2020

“Then I did what I should have done to start with. I taught myself to walk.”

ArapahoeTina Feb 06, 2020

“I wanted to say a lot of things, but, as usual, I didn't have the words for the thoughts inside my head.”

e
elinaghoddami
Dec 25, 2017

“Jamie sings like a squirrel.”
― Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, The War that Saved My Life

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Mletterman
Jul 06, 2016

“But what do I do with them?" Miss Smith said "I've never been around children." "Feed them, bathe them, make sure they get plenty of sleep," the doctor said. "They're no more difficult than puppies, really." He grinned”

Summary

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e
elinaghoddami
Dec 25, 2017

This book is about a young girl, Ada, and her little brother, Jamie, who leave their abusive mother during war. They come across paths of a lady, Susan, who takes care of them until the war is over. When the mother comes back looking for them, Ada refuses to go home but goes for the sake of her and Jamie's good. One day she and her mother make a deal for them to leave without payment. the mother agrees and they go back to Susan who loves them for who they really are.

This is a heartfelt story with a twisted plot which I'm sure everyone will love! I strongly recommend this book for a gift!

m
Mletterman
Jul 06, 2016

My favorite summer read so far. The book revolves around a girl, Ada and her brother. Set in the beginning of WWII, the story begins in the slums of London and then transfers to an English countryside town. The contrast between the city and countryside was startling. The book is appropriate for children (4th grade and up), but is a joy for an adult to read also. Highly recommended.

Notices

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VanessaL52
Feb 01, 2020

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Bombing

v
VanessaL52
Feb 01, 2020

Violence: Abusive parents Pysical Abuse

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