The War that Saved My Life
By Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Review by Kelly Shea
With amazing depth and insight, The War that Saved My Life tells the wartime story of nine-year-old Ada and her little brother, Jamie. Ada has spent her entire childhood inside her mother’s apartment, with only the view from her window and her little brother’s stories to help her understand the outside world. Her mother is verbally and physically abusive and blames Ada for her clubfoot. However, the Second World War brings new and exciting changes to Ada’s life. When the opportunity arrives, Ada learns to walk as best she can. She sneaks away from her imprisonment with Jamie in tow. The pair end up joining many other children evacuating London to travel to the countryside.
As Ada grows throughout the story, she learns the true meaning of love, security, and self-worth. Through her new friends she learns how to appreciate herself and the wonder of the world around her. The title of this novel may seem odd, but while others suffer due to wartime losses and deprivations, Ada thrives in her new circumstances. This plucky young heroine and her mischievous little brother will make readers root for them until the very end. This is a must read for children and adults of all ages!
Check availability on Newbery Honor book The War that Saved My Life
About the reviewer: Kelly Shea is a children’s librarian at the Paoli Library. One time, she rode in a hot air balloon. She is currently not-so-patiently waiting for the next season of Sherlock.