Monday, March 16, 2015


Life is not easy for ten-year-old Ada, living with her mean mother and younger brother in London at the eve of the Second World War. Born with a bad foot, Ada never learned to walk right, which made her mother ashamed of her. Ada is not allowed to go outside, or talk to anyone, and barely gets enough food from her mother. But Ada is a fighter, and takes care of her younger brother and tries to survive to the best of her ability. When the war starts, children are evacuated to the English countryside, away from major cities that might get bombed by the Germans, and Ada and her brother finally get away from their mother to live with a lady named Susan. Although Susan never wanted children, she takes care of the two children, and Ada's life truly begins, and it includes learning to ride a horse, making a friend, and even catching a spy. But what happens when the war ends?

The War that Saved my Life is a beautiful, sad, and heartwarming tale about a girl faced with the worst circumstances who decides to fight for her life. It is also a book about love and family, and the way that both can be found in unexpected places. Ada is a wonderful character to read about, because even though she is hurt, she is brave enough to take care of herself and find her voice.

Although this is mostly the story of Ada and her brother, it is also a historical fiction book. The descriptions of daily life in the English countryside at the beginning of the war are fascinating to read about. Ada and her brother Jamie have to live with a stranger, just as many children had to do to get away from the danger of large cities. And besides that, they have to live on food rations and stand in long lines to get any food at all. They have to look for suspicious activity and report it, and even take care of wounded soldiers. But all that seems bearable with caring people around them as the village comes together to help each other.

This is a book you won't want to put down until you get to its bittersweet conclusion. Fans of The Book Thief will especially enjoy this book.

For readers in 5th-8th grade.

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