Book Review: The War That Saved My Life

February 8, 2016

The War That Saved My Life
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
320 pages
Kindle edition
16 in 16 Book Challenge: A book that won an award

From the Publisher:

An exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War 2, from the acclaimed author of Jefferson’s Sons and for fans of Number the Stars.

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?

This masterful work of historical fiction is equal parts adventure and a moving tale of family and identity—a classic in the making.

Wow.  Talk about a good book that really made me stop and think. I really loved this book. I know I say that a lot, but I really did love this one.  I can’t wait to read this to my kids.

A dear friend recommended this book to me and her recommendations are always right on for me.  So I knew I would need to read it. And it fit perfectly, because this book is a Newberry Honor book and a Wall Street Journal’s Best Children’s books for 2015, meaning it fits the requirement for one of my 16 in 2016 book challenge.  It’s won an award!

Ada is such an amazing character.  I cannot even begin to imagine her life.  she was born with a club foot, but her mother calls it ugly and leads her to believe that she is dirty and no one will care about her because of it.  She is never let outside, never allowed to walk, go to school or hardly eat.  But Ada prevailed!  She is strong.  She taught her self to walk, she used her wits to escape that life.  I have so much I want to say about Ada, but I don’t want to give it all away either.  I loved her strength and her ability to slowly learn to trust people and enjoy life.


There is so much more to this book than meets the eye. Each character has so much depth and there are so many issues present.  Even the name -the wars that we face as countries and the wars that we face personally.  It is such a complex book, and while it’s written for 9-12 year olds, it is a book that adults can read and learn from.  I had such a hard time putting it down.

I can’t wait to read this a loud to my kids.

You can grab a copy on Amazon, here. You won’t regret it.  I recommend everyone read this book!

Final Score:

5 stars

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