PDF/EPUB Kimberly Brubaker Bradley À À The War that Saved My Life PDF ↠ that Saved

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   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 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 eual parts adventure and a moving tale of family and identity—a classic in the making


10 thoughts on “The War that Saved My Life

  1. says:

    As a child I was what one might call a selective reader Selective in that I studiously avoided any and all works of fiction that might conceivably be considered “depressing” Bridge to Terabithia? I’ll have none please Island of the Blue Dolphins? Pass Jacob Have I Loved? Not in this lifetime Lord only knows what caused a book to be labeled “depressing” in my eyes before I’d even read it I think I went by covers alone Books picturing kids staring out into the vast nothingness of the universe were of little use to me Happily I got over this phase and eventually was able to go back to those books I had avoided to better see what I had missed Still that 10 year old self is always with me and I confer with her when I’m reading new releases So when I read The War That Saved My Life I had to explain to her at length that in spite of the premise cover again with the kids staring out into nothingness and time period this isn’t the bleak stretch of depressingness it might appear to be Enormously satisfying and fun to read Bradley takes a work of historical fiction and gives the whole premise of WWII evacuees a kick in the pants Ada is ten and as far as she can tell she’s never been outdoors Never felt the sun on her face Never seen grass Born with a twisted foot her mother considers her an abomination and her own personal shame So when the chance comes for Ada to join her fellow child evacuees including her little brother Jamie out of the city during WWII she leaps at the chance Escaping to the English countryside the two are foisted upon a woman named Susan who declares herself to be “not nice” from the start Under her care the siblings grow and change Ada discovers Susan’s pony and is determined from the get go to ride it And as the war progresses and things grow dire she finds that the most dangerous thing isn’t the bombs or the war itself It’s hope And it’s got her numberI may have mentioned it before but the word that kept coming to mind as I read this book was “satisfying” There’s something enormously rewarding about this title I think a lot of the credit rests on the very premise When a deserving kid receives deserving gifts it releases all kinds of pleasant endorphins in the brain of he reader It feels like justice multiple times over We’re sympathetic to Ava from the start but I don’t know that I started to really like her until she had to grapple with the enormity of Susan’s sharp edged kindness As an author Bradley has the unenviable job of making a character like Ada realistic suffering real post traumatic stress in the midst of a war and then in time realistically stronger This isn’t merely a story where the main character has to learn and grow and change She has this enormous task of making Ava strong in every possible way after a lifetime of systematic often horrific abuse And she has to do so realistically No deus ex machina No sudden conversion out of the blue That she pulls it off is astounding Honestly it made me want to reread the book several times over if only to figure out how she managed to display Ada’s anger and shock in the face of kindness with such aplomb For me it was the little lines that conveyed it best Sentences like the one Ada says after the first birthday she has ever celebrated “I had so much I felt so sad” It’s not a flashy thing to say Just true You can see the appeal of writing characters like Ada and Jamie Kids who have so little experience with the wider world that they don’t know a church from a bank or vice versa The danger with having a character ignorant in this way is that they’ll only serve to annoy the reader Or perhaps worse their inability to comprehend simple everyday objects and ideas will strike readers as funny or something to be mocked Here Bradley has some advantages over other books that might utilize this techniue For one thing by placing this book in the past Ada is able to explain to child readers historical facts without stating facts that would be obvious to her or resorting to long bouts of exposition By the same token child readers can also pity Ada for not understanding stuff that they already do banks church etc Ms Bradley has written on her blog that “I don't write in dialect for several reasons but I try to write dialogue in a way that suggests dialect” American born Indiana to be specific she has set her novel in historical England Kent where any number of accents might be on display She could have peppered the book with words that tried to replicate the sounds of Ada’s London accent or Susan’s Oxford educated one Instead Ms Bradley is cleverer than that As she says she merely suggests dialect One of the characters a Mr Grimes says things like “Aye” and ends his sentences with words like “like” But it doesn’t feel forced or fake Just mere hints of an accent that would allow a reader to pick it up or ignore it however they preferred Basically what we have here is Anne of Green Gables without uite so much whimsy And in spite of the presence of a pony this is not a cutesy pie book Instead it’s a story about a girl who fights like a demon against hope She fights it with tooth and claw and nail and just about any weapon she can find If her life has taught her anything it’s that hope can destroy you faster than abuse In this light Susan’s kindness is a danger unlike anything she’s ever encountered before Ms Bradley does a stellar job of bringing to life this struggle in Ada and in inflaming a similar struggle in the hearts of her young readers You root for Ada You want her to be happy Yet at the same time you don’t want your heart to be broken any than Ada does Do you hope for her future then? You do Because this is a children’s book and hope in whatever form it ultimately takes is the name of the game Ms Bradley understands that and in The War That Saved My Life she manages to concoct a real delight out of a story that in less capable hands would have been a painful read This book I would hand to my depression averse younger self It’s fun It’s exciting It’s one of a kind For ages 9 12


  2. says:

    I am a 10 year old girl and I read this for school I loved it so much and I hope there is a seuel If there is another book I will definitely read it and I would recommend this book to everyone that likes books about not giving up Happy reading Rating one million stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


  3. says:

    I know it seems like I’ve been tremendously lucky lately what with all the four star ratings I’ve been giving but it’s only because—and I’ve done this for the whole month of March—anytime a book bores me I put it aside and never get back to it Good bad? Remains to be seen That being said THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE was extraordinary and didn’t bore me one bit No wonder it won so many awards It’s a refreshing middle grade historical fiction book that deserves to be read by adults as well It’s such a wonderful book that calls to your emotional side I used the word ‘‘refreshing’’ to describe it above because although many historical books describe the events of World War II not many look at children evacuees Indeed Ada and Jamie flee from London to escape from the predicted German attacks They have to leave their abusive mother to do so but for Ada that isn’t going to be an action she will ever regret The woman who welcomes them—uite begrudgingly—into their house will make them understand what being cared for truly means Although the backdrop is a terrified England the war is never the main point of the story even if the title says otherwise It’s true that the war saves Ada’s life in a way but the main focus of this story is the interactions between Ada Jamie and their new guardian as well as Ada’s confidence and freedom growth Once afraid of her monstrous mother Ada will learn to calm the fear that has grown inside her for so many years UNFORGETTABLE Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google | Bloglovin’


  4. says:

    Call me dumpling if this isn't a Newbery contender for 2016 The historical details character development tight plot and rich layered themes make this firecracker sizzle Ten year old Ada has a clubfoot and is kept locked in her family's one bedroom apartment while her six year old brother Jaimie roams free in London England Mam hits her two children and punishes Ada by locking her in the cabinet under the sink World War II is about to happen and parents are sending children to the countryside for safetyMam plans to send Jaimie but not Ada Nice people don't want to look at that foot Ada sneaks off with Jaimie to join other evacuees on a train to Kent Expecting 70 children but receiving 200 the children line up in a building near the station and are chosen by families but no one picks Ada and Jaimie The iron faced woman organizing the placement takes the two to a house where the owner Susan Smith says she doesn't want any children to care for The reason for Susan's reluctance is slowly revealed and though she claims she is not nice her actions show the opposite She suffers with bouts of depression and the three form a family bond that helps them all move forward in life and deal with sufferingThe ironic title of this book refers not only to the physical war but the internal and daily battles faced by the characters War is about death and destruction not saving; however there are times when some things are worth fighting for WWII meant fighting against loss of freedoms lands and extreme prejudices Most people didn't want to go to war and avoided it until it became necessary For Ada There are all kinds of wars She talks about her war with Jaimie whom she has raised instead of their negligent mother She talks about her war with her mother who hits her in order to shame and control her She sees Susan war with people who act prejudiced toward her disability She sees Jamie war with his fears She sees Susan war with her grief The war theme builds like a wet snowball rolling down a snowy hill getting bigger and bigger until it rests at the bottom doubled in size The author keeps building on various themes and advances the plot pointing to those themes This is just one element in Kimberly Brubaker Bradley's impressive writing that makes this book unforgettablespoiler I want to use this book for book club next fall so the following is detailed than usual so I'll remember my first impressionsDaily life is filled with peace and joy and battles and wars Ada's life is no different except her conditions are extreme She battles the prejudice of her mother and others over her clubfoot She battles hunger on a daily basis She battles her feelings She battles being touched by another human She battles looking forward to the future with hope She battles being illiterate Ada is tired of being ignorant of the world and the words in it She's been locked up in a room and never let outside On the train she asks Jaimie what the green stuff is out the window Even the word grass is not in her vocabulary Like someone trying to learn a foreign language words exhaust her and it is no surprise that she resists Susan's efforts to educate her It is not until she makes friends with Maggie that she is motivated to read and writeAda is a survivor courageous and persistent Horses respond to her and when she decides to make her pony jump a wall she just about kills herself in the effort She battles back no matter how many times life throws her off a horse Her physical hunger is nothing compared to her emotional hunger for love hope and freedom When she finds it with Susan it scares her to heck because she knows their set up is temporary until the war is over Ada shuts Susan out to protect herself but Susan is just as strong willed as her and she jumps her walls Jaimie is left handed and being abused by the teacher Susan figures it out and rescues him showing she is willing to fight for the two children The relationship changes from caring to loving the three are evolving into a family with all its ups and downs At the end when Susan doesn't battle for them it is no surprise that she changes her mind and tracks down Mam and the kids At the end when Susan tells Ada and Jaimie that they saved her life the story has come full circleBoth children have fears Jaimie has tantrums and wets the bed while Ada is afraid of being hit and sent away When Jaimie finds a mean cat that is full of fleas and matted hair he names it Bovril after a nasty drink that Susan makes the children take each night for their health The cat Bovril is loved and cared for by Jaimie He stops wetting the bed as soon as they keep the cat and after he washes the mangy creature he brings it down wrapped in Susan's best towel The parallel with the children is striking for Susan took in two bedraggled children that no one else wanted and gave them the best of herself and home When Jaimie tells Susan that nice people hate Ada's clubfoot she says they are in luck because she is not a nice person Ada tries to convince herself of this but knows it isn't true She was not a nice person but she cleaned up the floor She was not a nice person but she bandaged my foot in a white piece of cloth and gave us two of her own clean shirts to wear Ada reminds herself all the time that Susan is not a nice person so that she won't become attached to her She knows that the situation is temporary and she copes by detaching herselfAnother overarching theme besides battles and wars is the difference between lying and liars Susan distinguishes lying as a way of self preservation or protecting oneself while liars do it to make themselves important Ada lies about her last name when she meets Susan Later when Ada tells the truth it is easy to see why Susan doesn't believe her about riding Maggie's horse The two learn to be honest and trust each other as they learn to understand each other The author shows but does not tell these differences and much of it must be inferred by the reader As the story progresses Ada chooses to not lie about the spy nor does she lie with her mother She slowly turns from lies to the truth and it allows her to move forward emotionally and become a stronger person Mam is a liar that bullies Ada to make herself feel important Mam says that fixing Ada's foot is a lie even though Ada knows it is possible By not fixing Ada's foot Mam feels superior Susan lies about Divinity school to attack the school teacher's prejudice and abuse of Jaimie Her lie was protective Stephen lies to the Colonel because he knows that the Colonel needs full time care His lie was to help the Colonel not feel useless in the war Lies are a big part of the author's character development and Ada learns through lies how she can change her life into one of truth and hope for a better life Ada breaks Susan's sewing machine and is terrified she'll be sent back to London Ada's terror is not normal and shows how traumatized she has been by her mother's abuse She also pushes aside her emotions and doesn't address them She calls it going inside her head Her psychological and physical abuse make her difficult to handle and Susan doesn't always get it right Both Ada and Susan are persistent strong willed and stubborn Susan can't tell Ada to read and write but tricks her into it Later when Ada realizes that Maggie was mad at her for not writing she is motivated to learn Susan tricks Ada into doing other things she refuses to do making for some funny moments Susan's dry humor helps balance the characters heavy issues The two females learn from each other When Ada decides to make a present in her room Susan says she has to spend eual the time with her that she spends alone She's grown to like her company and Ada unknowingly is helping Susan deal with her grief Ada goads Susan into volunteering for the war Susan tries to get Ada to accept herself and not be ashamed of her foot your foot's a long way from your brain When Ada later uses it against the prejudiced officer Susan's influence is apparent as Ada finds the courage to stand up for herself and see her self worthSusan's read alouds show how the kids are relating the characters in the stories to their lives Ada feels that she is like Alice in Wonderland who has fallen down the rabbit hole into a strange new world Jaimie feels like he is on an adventure like the Swiss Family Robinson Literature engages and empowers young readers into understanding themselves and the world around them Ada is learning empathy and through narrative fiction she can get inside a fictional character's mind to understand his or her feelings motivations and emotions This safe place in the fictional world lets her take risks and learn through characters triumphs and mistakes then relate it to herself with empathy and not have any real world conseuences This is the power of readingI do so like books that answer uestions right away and then take it one step further in an unexpected way Brandon Sanderson does this and so does Bradley For instance when Ada keeps refusing to go to tea with the Colonel I thought she was embarrassed by her clubfoot and I know that she feels awkward socially Later she confesses to Stephen that she is afraid of not doing the right thing Perhaps a better example is when Susan debates the teacher on her superstition of left handedness It could have been left with just the dialogue but she explains the root of the superstition in the Bible The author digs deeper into the psyche of characters bringing out their complexities that engages me as a readerBradley has already established herself as an author that pays attention to historical details Read Jefferson's Sons and you will see what I mean Here she goes into details regarding the war and maintaining stables and horses The women sewing blackout curtains and building a rickety smelly bomb shelter are just two of many examples Others include the newsreels that disseminated information to the public before the movies to the propaganda posters littering the city The Germans circled the island and sunk ships trying to import or export goods laying siege to England and affecting the food supply Another fact that parents evacuated their children from London and then took them back endangering their lives when the London Blitz occurred was one I didn't know about The historical details oftentimes tie in with larger themes especially the posters such as Freedom is in peril Defend it with all your might Not only is England's freedom in peril but Ada and Jaimie's freedom living with Susan is in peril when their Mam takes them backThe psychological progression of Ada wanting Susan to not give her things shows Ada clinging to the emotional detachment as a coping mechanism from being abused Ada rejects Susan's help over and over Later while reading Swiss Family Robinson she thinks I was tired of those idiots living on an island with everything they wanted She doesn't want to be given things Again her attitude is about self preservation Ada has a meltdown when Susan makes her a velvet dress and calls her beautiful She reveals It was too much all this emotionShe can't see herself as anything but ugly She doesn't want to love Susan and hope for a better life Worse she doesn't want to love herselfWhen the war comes to their town and Susan and Ada help the Dunkirk soldiers Ada learns that she is useful She also recognizes that she is winning battles against her fears and becoming stronger There was a Before Dunkirk version of me and an After Dunkirk version The After Dunkirk version was stronger less afraid Later when she sees a spy and reports it she is strong enough to overcome the prejudiced officer that tries to dismiss her When she stands up to her mother and admits the horrible truth about how she does not care about her or Jaimie she shows her self acceptance not only of herself but her mother When she is lauded a hero for capturing a spy she sees herself As if I'd been born with two strong feet This is a long way from the ashamed girl that first showed up on Susan's doorstepSusan's depression comes from the death of her partner Becky The family has disowned Susan especially her clergyman father and no one talks about it Historically it would have not been discussed openly and if the author had made it a subplot it would have put the book in the young adult section Children's interest in sexuality begins in middle school than elementary and had the author emphasized it the novel would have missed its audience As is some readers will miss the implied relationship while others will notice it hovering in the background and affecting Susan This choice by the author lets the focus remain on the characters and it would have detracted from the main themes Decide for yourself You really don't want to miss this one


  5. says:

    What a wonderful book I rarely enjoy recently written books and the two recently written books I have given 4 stars too become 3 stars in comparison We read this as a read aloud and from page 1 we were hooked In fact getting home from the library standing inside the front door I flicked to the first page and read the first couple of pages without realising totally absorbedThe story begins with Ada and Jamie they are very poor and live with their single mum Even though she has so little you suspect their mother would be awful even if she were well off Ada and Jamie's lives are bad and then war comesWithout giving away too much of the plot this book follows the siblings lives and gives a good look into World War II and lives of evacuees We loved the characters in this book Ada was wonderful so brave tenacious and funny The relationship between Ada and her brother was wonderful we even loved their suabbles there were some really humorous descriptions of these Those who love horses will enjoy the descriptions of Ada's first experiences with a pony called Butter We loved the way that in the time the book was set you could just have a go or help out at stables in return for riding which is what was possible when I was young but sadly not today There are some wonderful animal characters and we loved the unusual friendships and the way that the hardships of the war brought people who previously wouldn't have mixed together Susan was a wonderful character and a natural mother to the motherlessA goodreads friend asked if this was too dark or depressing it's hard to tell how someone will feel about a book but despite the storyline having sad elements I found this a really positive read and very uplifting you can tell things are getting better and people are getting stronger in this book I don't think it's a spoiler to say Ada and Jamie's mother is awful and although their treatment is upsetting you could tell the book is going go be about their escape so this was bearable I speak from the position of someone whose mother was similar to the mother in the story and I didn't find this part too much if anything I found this cathartic as I was rooting for them to do something about their situationThere is so much going on in this book the relationship with Susan who is looking after them for their evacuation her relationship with others in the village and her own parents the relationships between the classes the injured soldiers the war effort teacher's superstitious beliefs and punishments and relationships with animal friends We loved the sound of Susan's loving home and the way how despite the fact she didn't want refugees or children she view spoiler she came to really love them and made a wonderful mother hide spoiler


  6. says:

    Every one of my friends who has just come out of the woodwork to say how much they love this book is DEAD TO MEWhy?Because I literally do not remember one of them telling me that I MUST READ THIS IMMEDIATELY and they should have I remember a bit of buzz around it as Newbery season rolled around I remember there being no surprise when it was named as an honor book So I dutifully bought it read the first page thought UGH HOW HORRIBLE and put it aside The seuel just came out and everyone I know is suddenly saying I need to get it I'm so excited And I thought UGH I will TRY the first one Holy #%^ y'all This book was amazing The story of the evacuees in England has long fascinated me And I love horses as well So there's two things in its favor right off But also ALSO this book is a heartbreaking work of staggering genius in its portrayal of grief depression abuse and healing Ada the main character who has literally never known happiness never been loved does not instantly warm to their new hostess She struggles She is crippled not just by a club foot but by years of abuse and self loathing She has panic attacks She is angry and doesn't know why or how to deal with it It's a nuanced and honest look at what a child raised in such circumstances might actually be like Susan who was cast out by her father for living with another woman this is subtle and their relationship is not labeled as such who is gossiped about by the town but not as much as she thinks is struggling just to exist after the death of her partner Becky These are damaged people and they don't do and say the right thing because they don't know the right things to do and say It's raw and real as is the depiction of how England begins to change with the coming of war I shan't go on because well you need to read it for yourself if you haven't alreadyThis my friends is a beautiful book


  7. says:

    45 stars “I don't know what to say she said after a pause I don't want to tell you a lie and I don't know the truthIt was maybe the most honest thing anyone had ever said to me Man this book really packed in the feels There were moments where I felt like I had been punched with emotionThe War That Saved My Life is about Ada a young girl with a deformed foot whose mother kept her inside all her life When London fears Hitler will start bombing it all the children are sent to the countryside and Ada sees the outside world for the first time “I wanted to say a lot of things but as usual I didn't have the words for the thoughts inside my head” Loved this story so so much Ada is such an amazing heroine with so much perseverance even when life literally kept her down The author really did well on the historical aspects and the writing in this book flowed I think this is a story everyone needs to read not just children “It had been awful but I hadn't uit I had persisted In battle I had won” Follow me on ♥ Facebook ♥ Blog ♥ Instagram ♥ Twitter ♥


  8. says:

    Not bad for a middle grade novel Not bad at all A beautiful and heartwarming story about overcoming emotional and physical abuse and learning to accept unconditional love from yourself and from others Takes place during World War II in London This novel doesn't pull punches or try to sugar coat the harshness of life The War That Saved My Life will tug at your heartstrings and reaffirm your faith in the kindness of strangers Enjoy


  9. says:

    A delightful heartfelt and engaging read A very well written book on human emotions and historyKimberly Brubaker Bradley`s The War that Saved My Life is the story of nine year old Ada and her young brother Jamie set during the times of World War II I felt few glimpses of Roald Dahl`s Matilda but on the whole this is a uniue and nicely written book As the blurb says this is indeed an exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds A must read


  10. says:

    No need to count my senior yawnsthis book woke me right upWhat? Right before my eyes I’m changing into a person who loves well written books for middle schoolers Who knew? It all happened because a precocious ten year old bossed me around and made me read to her Man was I lucky—I’m finding all these gems And genres that normally would turn me off like fantasy This book is historical fiction a genre that’s not one of my go to’s Absolutely no complaints about my metamorphosis; I’m having a blast as I turn into a bookish preteen grasshopper Whenever I read to the kid I assume I’ll be all la dee da bored and merely perfecting and counting my senior yawns sort of like counting sheep I tell myself that at least I’ll get babysitting points for entertaining her so I don’t have to love the book All I have to do is read aloud which it turns out I love—so much fun to try to read the dialogue with the right intonation and effect Books like this one are stealing my heart and impressing the hell out of me I feel like I’ve stumbled onto a gold mine As for this book I completely loved it; both the kid and I gave it 5 stars The setting is WW2 England; the heroine is Ada an 11 year old girl who hobbles around on a painful and unsightly club foot Ada’s foot plays a big role but she won’t let us pity her Her atrocious mom is embarrassed by Ada and keeps her in a closet Although the mom is horrid I don’t think she’s overplayed Don’t worry a cool woman named Susan rescues Ada and her little brother There are rations bombs pilots and a spy And don’t let me forget the pony—and no the pony does not make the book cutesy or too childish There is tension out the ying yang and complex and nuanced dynamics among the characters No stereotypes to be found Ada had a lot of struggles PTSD plus self image and trust issues galore The book had a bunch of hope something I sometimes have trouble appreciating—often it’s too unrealistic or fat chancy And there was love but never overdone or schlocky No syrup and no Hallmark I must admit I was happy to see that the book did not preach forgiveness because I’m mostly not a believer in itI felt like I was right there beside Ada experiencing the fright of the war and also feeling her heart ache I adored all three of the main characters—Ada her sweet brother and the wonderful SusanCan Ada and her brother stay with Susan? Will Ada ever heal her broken wings? Will the evil mom come back into the picture? Will everyone survive the bombings? Besides tension there’s suspense which made it hard to put the book down Very exciting Because I only babysit the kid once a week I had to stretch out the reading and that killed me I wholeheartedly recommend this book to both kids and adults It was nominated for the Newbury Award and it won a bunch of other awards and I can see why Check it out; maybe you’ll turn into a bookish preteen grasshopper too