Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
*Newbery Honor Book*
Middle Grades, Historical Fiction
Publication Date: January 8, 2015
While set with the backdrop of World War II, Ada’s war is much more personal. Born with a club foot, Ada is rejected and neglected by her mother and forced to stay inside their house at all times, only knowing about the outside world from what she sees out the window. Her brother Jamie is allowed outside, to go to school, and to play with friends, but Ada still has to protect him from her mother’s wrath.
As the outside war draws nearer, Ada’s mother plans to evacuate Jamie, and only Jamie, from London but Ada sneaks off with him. Their new life in the rural village is miles apart from their home both in distance and in life experiences. Ada and Jamie are taken in by a recluse named Susan Smith and together they stumble through the obstacles of their new situation.
Though a middle grades novel, readers of all ages are quickly drawn in by Ada’s deplorable living conditions, but also by her voice and her wit. The War the Saved My Life is an excellent piece of historical fiction where the historical setting strengthens an already remarkable story. It would be a great addition to upper elementary classrooms studying historical fiction or for middle school classrooms looking to pair literature with a study of World War II.
If you’re interested in reading The War that Saved My Life, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon.