Ada has never been out of her small apartment because her mother is too embarrassed of her. Instead she watches all the other children, including her younger brother, from her spot by the window. Living in a dirty apartment with a mother who is angry all the time is a sad way for a little girl to grow up. Ada realizes she needs to try to walk even though it isn't easy because of her disfigured foot, but her mother has forbidden her from doing it. World War II has begun and now it's reaching England. When bombs are threatening London and children are being sent out to the country, Ada hatches a plan to leave first thing in the morning with her brother. No one wants them when they get out to the country, but they finally go live with a woman named Susan Smith. She cleans them up, gives them a place to live, and treats them with respect. Susan sees no reason why Ada shouldn't be able to do everything everyone else is doing. For the first time in her life Ada is spending time outside. She even meets her beloved Butter, the horse who resides on the Smith property. The freedom Ada feels is amazing. There are hard days too, and Ada’s mom cannot be reached to approve a surgery for her club foot. Are things too good to last? What will happen when the war is over? Will Ada ever get her surgery so she can wear regular shoes? You will not be able to put this book down!
I first heard about The War That Saved My Life on The Children’s War blog. I am so happy I had a chance to read it. The characters in the book really come to life. I loved some of them and hated others. My heart went out to Ada because of her struggles with her foot and I winced at the way her mother treated her. She was an amazing older sister though! I thought it was also interesting how something as terrible as a war could end up saving someone's life in a different way. I recommend this to kids in fourth grade and up who like historical fiction and easy to relate to characters. I look forward to reading more books by this author!
Has anyone else read The War That Saved My Life? Or have you read another book by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley? We’d love to hear your thoughts!