Posted in 2015-2016 Club, Mock Newbery Picks

The War That Saved My Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Summary:  A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother.


Find it at WCPL


4 thoughts on “The War That Saved My Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

  1. I read this and loved it! Couldn’t put it down! And while there are some things left open-ended at the close of the book, I don’t necessarily want to read a sequel. I think the story is complete as is. Newbery? Maybe.

  2. I recently read “The War That Saved My Life” and Bradley did a fantastic job. All of the criteria were appropriately and beautifully filled.

    The plot was well described and not confusing in any way. All the problems were solved in a way that conveyed the slight uncertainty that Ada might have felt about her future, but you did feel like they were finally safe. Also, the plot involved abuse, physical and mental, but they didn’t make it too overly depressing. There were times in the book where the author threw in some comic relief that I much appreciated.

    The simple style was another great thing about this book. Ada had never ventured out of her flat, was uneducated, and had been abused her entire childhood. The clear and slow lines in the book reflect Ada’s inner voice in a gorgeous way.

    The characters were the absolute best part about this book. Every single character had multiple dimensions. Ada’s development was the best though. The author took her time so that you could see deeper into the characters, and this especially worked with Ada. She and her brother Jamie were abused their whole life, and they didn’t get immediately better when they went to live with kind Susan. They still bore the mental scars of their childhood. Their reactions to smells, feelings, and anything that reminded them of their old house or mother were heartbreaking. They slowly got better, a development that was sweet and moving to see unfold. Ada’s feelings were also one of my favorite things about this book. She said that her feelings were clear inside her head, but whenever she tried to look at them, they disappeared. She is just infinitely sad and angry, but cannot pinpoint why. You had to derive her feelings from her actions. But over time you see her grow and become a strong girl, one of the best transformations I have ever read.

    Setting was very well done in this book. Not being out of her apartment for her childhood, she had never seen trees, grass, and the ocean. You are able to hear the thoughts of a 11 year old who has just glimpsed the ocean for the first time. She told of the setting descriptively, but she also said how she FELT upon seeing it.

    It had strong themes of fitting in, understanding, surviving vs. living, standing up for yourself, inner strength, and it’s never too late to change your life.

    I believe that this will be a DEFINITE contender for Newbery and is so far my favorite book this year.

  3. Comment from Kayla:
    The War that Saved my life was a beautiful story. All of the characters were written with reality and truth. Ada could be an actual person; she had pain, love, and annoying moments which made you journey through the book with her. Susan was sort of depressed due to her sister’s death yet she had sympathy for the children. We all have “good sides” and “bad sides” which made the characters wonderful to read about. Personally, I found the setting confusing because of the things Ada either knew, didn’t know, or learning. I think one of the themes might be “bad things can turn out to be good.” After all, a war saved Ada’s life. She found a warm hearted home and family because of a war. I’ve read better books so far but this is definitely worth considering for Newbery and reading. I would recommend this novel to sixth grade.

  4. This book was pretty good. I just didn’t really like all of the history in their and how much of it there was. I would recommend this if someone was learning about WWII. I am undecided or not for this being a newbery winner or not.

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