The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Ada has never been outside her apartment. She has a club foot and her mother sees no use for her so she keeps Ada in the apartment all day, every day.
World War II is going on and the children of London are set to be evacuated to the country. Ada’s mother plans to send her brother, Jamie, but Ada doesn’t need to go.
Ada realizes this is her chance to escape so she sneaks off with her brother to evacuated. When they get to the country, every other child is matched up with people who will take care of them. Only Ada and Jamie are left. They are finally taken to Susan’s house, but Susan makes it very clear from the beginning that she does not want them.
Ada is introduced to a whole new world of freedom.
I read this book with my children as a bedtime story and we all three fell in love with it. Ada is such a brave girl to not just believe that she is worthless like her mother has told her all these years but to desire a life of more.
As Ada and her brother are evacuating on the train, she looks out the window and sees a girl riding a horse. Everything is so new to Ada, she has never even laid eyes on grass before. Seeing the world through her eyes, was remarkable. I enjoyed how Susan would mention something that would be common to most people, like a tablecoth, and to see all of this through Ada’s eyes. Wasting a cloth on a table, just for decoration? Even as Ada got used to living with Susan, there were still times when she didn’t understand and I enjoyed those interactions.
Ada and Jamie were easy characters to fall in love with. Susan’s past has caused her to not want to get too close to anyone or anything and this is addressed but not focused on, which I appreciated.
This is a great World War II book for a child who wants to read about it but maybe isn’t ready for the hardening facts of the Holocaust. It was definitely suspenseful in places, but not too much to handle. If children are wanting to read more about World War II, Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz and Number the Stars by Lois Lowry are great choices also.