My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication Date: January 8th, 2015
Publisher: Dial Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 9+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Family, Historical Fiction, WWII, Disability
Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.
So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. 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?
I know it seems like I’ve been tremendously lucky lately, what with all the four-star-ratings I’ve been giving, but it’s only because—and I’ve done this for the whole month of March—anytime a book bores me, I put it aside and never get back to it. Good, bad? Remains to be seen.
That being said, THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE was extraordinary and didn’t bore me one bit. No wonder it won so many awards. It’s a refreshing middle grade historical fiction book that deserves to be read by adults as well.
It’s such a wonderful book that calls to your emotional side. I used the word ‘‘refreshing’’ to describe it above because, although many historical books describe the events of World War II, not many look at children evacuees.
Indeed, Ada and Jamie flee from London to escape from the predicted German attacks. They have to leave their abusive mother to do so, but for Ada that isn’t going to be an action she will ever regret. The woman who welcomes them—quite begrudgingly—into their house will make them understand what being cared for truly means.
Although the backdrop is a terrified England, the war is never the main point of the story, even if the title says otherwise. It’s true that the war saves Ada’s life, in a way, but the main focus of this story is the interactions between Ada, Jamie and their new guardian as well as Ada’s confidence and freedom growth. Once afraid of her monstrous mother, Ada will learn to calm the fear that has grown inside her for so many years.
Follow me on: