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The War that Saved My Life
Cover of The War that Saved My Life
The War that Saved My Life
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#1 New York Times BestsellerNewbery Honor BookWinner of the Schneider Family Book Award (Middle School)Wall Street Journal Best Children's Books of 2015New York Public Library's 100 Books for Reading...
#1 New York Times BestsellerNewbery Honor BookWinner of the Schneider Family Book Award (Middle School)Wall Street Journal Best Children's Books of 2015New York Public Library's 100 Books for Reading...
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Description-

  • #1 New York Times Bestseller
    Newbery Honor Book
    Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award (Middle School)
    Wall Street Journal Best Children's Books of 2015
    New York Public Library's 100 Books for Reading and Sharing

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

    Ten-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 for 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.

 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    "Ada! Get back from that window!" Mam's voice, shouting. Mam's arm, grabbing mine, yanking me so I toppled off my chair and fell hard to the floor.

    "I was only saying hello to Stephen White." I knew better than to talk back, but sometimes my mouth was faster than my brain. I'd become a fighter, that summer.

    Mam smacked me. Hard. My head snapped back against the chair leg and for a moment I saw stars. "Don't you be talkin' to nobody!" Mam said. "I let you look out that window out a' the kindness of my heart, but I'll board it over if you go stickin' your nose out, much less talkin' to anyone!"

    "Jamie's out there," I mumbled.

    "And why shouldn't he be?" Mam said. "He ain't a cripple. Not like you."

    I clamped my lips over what I might have said next, and shook my head to clear it. Then I saw the smear of blood on the floor. Oh, mercy. I hadn't cleaned it all up from this afternoon. If Mam saw it, she'd put two and two together, fast. Then I'd be in the soup for sure. I slid over until my bottom covered the bloodstain, and I curled my bad foot beneath me.

    "You'd better be making my tea," Mam said. She sat on the edge of the bed and peeled off her stockings, wiggling her two good feet near my face. "I'm off to work in a bit."

    "Yes, Mam." I pushed my window chair sideways to hide the blood. I crawled across the floor, keeping my scabbed-over bad foot out of Mam's line of sight. I pulled myself onto our second chair, lit the gas ring, and put the kettle on.

    "Cut me some bread and dripping," Mam said. "Get some for your brother too." She laughed. "And, if there's any left, you can throw it out the window. See if Stephen White would like your dinner. How'd you like that?"

    I didn't say anything. I cut two thick slices off the bread and shoved the rest behind the sink. Jamie wouldn't come home until after Mam left anyhow, and he'd always share whatever food there was with me.

    When the tea was ready Mam came to get her mug. "I see that look in your eyes, my girl," she said. "Don't start thinking you can cross me. You're lucky I put up with you as it is. You've no idea how much worse things can be."

    I had poured myself a mug of tea too. I took a deep swallow, and felt the hot liquid scald a trail clear down to my gut. Mam wasn't kidding. But then, neither was I.

    There are all kinds of wars.

    This story I'm telling starts out four years ago, at the beginning of the summer of 1939. England stood on the edge of another Great War then, the war we're in the middle of now. Most people were afraid. I was ten years old (though I didn't know my age at the time), and while I'd heard of Hitler—little bits and pieces and swear words that floated from the lane to my third-floor window—I wasn't the least concerned about him or any other war fought between nations. You'd think from what I've already told you that I was at war with my mother, but my first war, the one I waged that June, was between my brother and me.

    Jamie had a mop of dirt-brown hair, the eyes of an angel, and the soul of an imp. Mam said he was six years old, and would have to start school in the fall. Unlike me, he had strong legs, and two sound feet on the ends of them. He used them to run away from me.

    I dreaded being alone.

    Our flat was one room on the third floor above the pub where Mam worked nights. In the mornings Mam slept late, and it was my job to get Jamie something to eat and keep him quiet until she was ready to wake up. Then Mam usually went out, to shop or talk to women in the lane; sometimes she took Jamie with her, but mostly not. In the evenings Mam went to work, and I fed Jamie tea and sang to him and put him...

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books Ms. Judge - I started reading on Amazon.com, where they let you Look Inside and I was hooked after reading the first chapter! I ordered it immediately and when it came in the mail I just sat down and read it in one sitting! If you want to read a story that mixes WWII history with a story of a young girl triumphing against all odds, this is the book for you! The main character is a nine year old girl named Ada, who was born with a club foot and cannot walk well. Unfortunately, Ada happens to have the worst mother in the world who abuses her unbelievably! This book was written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley who also wrote Number the Stars. I highly recommend this wonderful book!
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from October 27, 2014
    Bradley (Jefferson’s Sons) examines WWII through the eyes of a disabled child eager to escape her life of neglect and abuse. With the threat of German bombs being dropped on London, most parents are anxious to get their children out of the city. But Ada’s mother, shamed by her daughter’s deformed foot, doesn’t seem to care. Ada takes it upon herself to board an evacuee train with her younger brother and, without their Mam’s knowledge, they arrive in a country village with a crowd of students. Malnourished and filthy, the siblings are placed with Miss Smith, a woman lacking any experience with children, who claims she isn’t “nice.” Nonetheless, she offers Ada and Jamie food, clothing, and security, and she owns a pony that Ada is determined to learn to ride. In this poignant story, Bradley celebrates Ada’s discovery of the world outside her dismal flat, movingly tracing her growing trust of strangers and her growing affection for Miss Smith. Proving that her courage and compassion carry far more power than her disability, Ada earns self-respect, emerges a hero, and learns the meaning of home. Ages 9–12. Agent: Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown.

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    Penguin Young Readers Group
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