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Ten-year-old Ada manages to slip out of her oppressive environs with her six-year-old brother Jamie to join other London children who are being evacuated to the countryside.

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The children are promised that the families awaiting their arrival will care for them. Unfortunately, no one seems to want Ada and Jamie, and they are sent to live with Susan Smith, a single woman who neither has experience with children nor any desire to care for them. Tension exists between Ada and Susan, even though the living arrangement appears to be better than anticipated. While their relationship builds amid hardship from the ensuing war, an unexpected event ultimately tests their bond of love.

Long before war begins to ravage people's lives throughout Europe, an internal war has been brewing in one particular young girl's life because of her twisted foot, Ada has been the recipient of physical, mental and emotional abuse.


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Because of this, Ada has a difficult time embracing Susan's kindness, and she constantly convinces herself that Susan isn't real. Bradley incorporates a bit of leitwortstil throughout a handful of chapters to reflect Ada's coping mechanism by periodically repeating the phrase "she's not a nice person. Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?


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  • This masterful work of historical fiction is equal parts adventure and a moving tale of family and identity—a classic in the making. She lives with her husband and two children in Bristol, Tennessee.

    THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley | Kirkus Reviews

    Nuanced and emotionally acute, this vivid tale from the wartime home front will have readers ages wincing at Ada's stumbles and rejoicing to the point of tears in her victories. Things come to an explosive head, metaphorically and literally. Ignorance and abuse are brought to light, as are the healing powers of care, respect and love. Set against a backdrop of war and sacrifice, Ada's personal fight for freedom and ultimate triumph are cause for celebration. An incredibly emotional and poignant read This book is truly remarkable.

    A wonderful and well written story of the internal and external struggles that we can all face. A moving and uplifting read.

    The War That Saved My Life

    A beautiful story of hope and family. The reader is carried along by the story of Ada's trials and triumphs Beautifully written. A compelling read. A sad yet heart-warming story that will have children and adults captivated from the very beginning. A delightful WWII story with a totally winning protagonist.

    Common Sense says

    Ada's voice is honest and authentic and true It's a lovely little novel to curl up with on a rainy day, that took me back to the novels I read and loved as a child. Ada's transformation from an angry young woman into a confident lady is imaginatively drawn.

    The War that Saved My Life Book Trailer

    Watching Ada's transformation and seeing her relationship with Susan grow is a lovely journey. A brilliant read from start to finish, The War that Saved My Life explores themes of love, loss and hope and shows that sometimes the hardest battles are the ones fought within ourselves.

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