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The War That Saved My Life

The War That Saved My Life

Large Print - 2019 | Large print edition.
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Ten-year-old Ada has never left her family's one-room apartment. Her bitter mother is too humiliated by Ada's twisted foot to let her outside. But when her little brother, Jamie is going to be shipped out of London to escape World War II, Ada doesn't waste a minute: she sneaks out to join him. So begins a new adventure for Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take in two kids. 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?
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, a Cengage Company, 2019.
Edition: Large print edition.
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9781432865856
Branch Call Number: LT J BRADLEY, K.
Characteristics: 391 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
large print


From Library Staff

List - Girls You Should Know
CCCL_Youth Jun 10, 2021

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.

From the critics

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Jun 12, 2021


May 11, 2021

The War That Saved my Life is a historical fiction book that is very touching. This book is about a girl who is neglected and abused but pushes herself to get out of her bad situation and find herself a new life. I do not normally like books that involve history and wars, but this book is an exception! The War That Saved my Life hooks you from the beginning and engages you in the story. This book not only was enjoyable to read, but also taught me a bit about what some kids had to go through in World War 2. 5/5 -@Chiaki_ of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

May 10, 2021

This is a heartbreaking story of abuse and rescue, due to chilling WWII circumstances that triggered the mass evacuation of children from London while the German Luftwaffe bombed the city.

Ada has a club foot, much to the chagrin and embarrassment of her bar-serving mother, who never lets her leave the house. But as her younger, physically perfect little brother grows up, he starts to leave Ada behind, playing outdoors with the other boys he discovers.

She's never pushed her mother's limits and walking on the foot is incredibly painful, but she'll do whatever she thinks she has to, to keep her little brother.

Then WWII breaks out, and soon, the city is evacuating all the children, parents saying goodbye to their kids, and putting them on trains for the countryside while anticipating German bombing.

Ada's mom makes plans to evacuate her brother, but not her. Ada manages to get to the train station and out of London in time and together the siblings end up with a curmudgeonly old woman who also owns a much-neglected pony.

The woman steady acceptance of Ada slowly works at Ada's insecurities, and Ada works right back at the old woman, prodding her to take better care of the pony. Ada thrives and flourishes, expanding her world and universe on her own, as well.

But when the old woman writes to Ada's mom to get permission for a surgery on Ada's foot, it sparks a response from Mom that threatens to take Ada away from the only security and acceptance she's ever known. Once she's taken away, will she ever make it back?

Be prepared to cry your eyes out on this one. The parts with the abuse are horrible to read but important, too, and the message of the importance of reporting physical as well as emotional abuse is one some students will need to hear.

Apr 26, 2021

This book was amazing! My 13 year-old had read it 4 times and raved about it. I doubted, but I should not have. It was touching and interesting and a wonderful, human read. I highly recommend it! I listened to the audiobook and the reader was especially talented.

FPL_Jenni Apr 17, 2021

The War that Saved my Life is an incredibly engaging historical fiction novel that has received multiple awards and nominations, including the Schneider Family Book Award and a Newberry Honor book selection. The book features Ada, a physically disabled child, as the main protagonist as she and her brother struggle to adapt in a new household with a caring guardian. Both of them struggle due to the fact that their mother neglected and abused them their entire life, so being placed in the care of Susan, a woman who cares about them and tries to help them, is difficult for the pair to come to terms to. Bradley creates an incredibly heartwarming tale in a time where nothing is certain and everything is terrifying, due to the war that is going at the time, that focuses on choosing one's family. Bradley portrays Ada's feelings, including her anger and confusion, perfectly through her stylized writing. All in all, The War that Saved my Life is an incredible read that is sure to capture the heart of any reader.

Mar 15, 2021

This book hooked me almost from the beginning. As a survivor of child abuse, it was difficult to read, but it was well worth it. At times I was angry, at times I was in tears. A very powerful and moving book. I would suggest for a parent to read this prior just to ensure your child can handle such a tough topic. The abuse depicted is both physical and emotional. And there is the word sl*t. I don't give 5 stars easily on books, but this is definitely a 5-star book!

Feb 09, 2021

This book is about how life can be harsh but there is always a way to have a happy life!

Jan 23, 2021

each time i sit down to read a chapter or 2 I end up crying. SUCH AN AMAZING BOOK. DEFINITLY 5/5

Dec 30, 2020

This is an easy read, probably more in the young adult category. I was entertained.

JCLRachelN Dec 10, 2020

This story has been recommended to me by some of our younger library users and I'm pleased to say it lived up to its praise. At times it was difficult to read due to Ada's experiences and the War. Despite this, the story contains a lot of heart, hope, and growth, leaving this reader with warm fuzzies. I'll definitely be picking up the sequel, The War I Finally Won.

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Add Age Suitability
Jan 23, 2021

alibonis thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Jul 08, 2020

green_wolf_1897 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 13

Jul 06, 2020

sharishsu thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 12

burgundy_baboon_330 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 13

May 26, 2020

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

Apr 02, 2020

blue_tiger_3874 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Feb 01, 2020

VanessaL52 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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

Oct 20, 2019

blue_dolphin_14353 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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Add a Quote
Jul 25, 2020

"You're so stiff. It's like trying to hug a piece of wood." - Susan

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.”

Dec 25, 2017

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

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”


Add a Summary
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!

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.


Add Notices
Feb 01, 2020

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Bombing

Feb 01, 2020

Violence: Abusive parents Pysical Abuse

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