Friday, July 28, 2017

Audiobook Review: The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Title: The War That Saved My Life
Author: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Narrator: Jayne Entwistle
Series: The War That Saved My Life #1
Publisher: Penguin Random Group
Publication Date: January 8, 2015
Genre: Middle Grade Historical Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Overdrive

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Literary Awards: 
Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Middle Grade & Children's (2015)
Newbery Honor (2016)
Odyssey Award (2016)
Schneider Family Book Award for Middle School (2016)
Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award Nominee (2017)
Bluestem Book Award Nominee (2017)

An exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War 2, from the acclaimed author of Jeffereson's Sons and for fans of Number the Stars.

Nine-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 equal parts adventure and a moving tale of family and identity--a classic in the making. 

My Thoughts: 
Ada has never been outside. She watches a tiny patch of the world through her London window and through whatever tidbits her little brother Jamie brings home to her. She has a club foot so she cannot walk and her mother is so ashamed of her that she has never let her leave the house. When her brother is sent away to the country to avoid the bombs that may drop on London, she faces the pain and, running away from the abuse and neglect, she goes with him. In the country, they are settled in with the lonely Susan Smith whom bathes them, feeds them, and treats them with kindness--something Ada has never known in her short life. 

This was such a heartwarming story.  Poor Ada spent her life locked away, being abused and neglected. When she goes to live with Ms. Smith, that way of life follows her and she cannot help but flinch, hide, or go into panic mode whenever she has done something wrong, no matter how small. It takes a lot of time and trust for her to really warm up to the Ms. Smith, but slowly, her walls start to break down as she experiences freedom, kindness, and love.
As with most cases of abuse, Ada holds onto those shortcomings her mother put on her and it takes her a long time to see her own worth. I thought Ada's ptsd issues were well done. Ada has a hard time coming to terms with the real world and real life, whether it be learning new things or accepting new relationships. 

This is a great read for young fans of World War II historical fiction. The story is more about Ada but still revolves around the war, children evacuating London, and more. I would recommend it to any history or contemporary fans and young readers in general. 

My Rating: 4 stars

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