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?
This masterful work of historical fiction is equal parts adventure and a moving tale of family and identity—a classic in the making.
Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: January 8th 2015 by Dial
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction/Historical Fiction
I received an advanced readers copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The expected publication date is January 8, 2015.
I don't read much in the middle grade genre because I find it hard at times to detach from my adult brain in order to give a review that does justice. That was not the case with The War that Saved my Life. It was such a beautiful story that I think readers of all ages will thoroughly enjoy it regardless of the demographic it is intended for.
This is the story of Ada and Jamie who are shipped out of London to the country to escape the bombs. Sorry...let me correct myself. Jamie is sent off by his mother but not Ada as her mother deems her a "cripple" and no good to anybody. Ada does not let this stop her and sneaks off with her brother who she loves more than anything. Together they are placed with an extremely reluctant woman, Susan, who is dealing with issues of her own.
With the Second World War as a backdrop, this is a story of abuse, ability and disability, learning, growing, trusting, family, love and so much more. As the reader you are with these characters each step of the way as they "unlearn" everything they know and begin to understand, learn, and appreciate their full potential. It is heartbreaking and raw at times and yet beautiful at others. The strength that Ada gains both physically and mentally, is sure to inspire even the most reluctant reader.
I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages and envision it in many a middle grade classroom in the future. It was truly a beautiful story.
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