On My Bookshelf: The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

April 24, 2017

In The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, the lives of Ada and her brother Jamie are changed forever when the threat of bombing forces them to leave London for the English countryside. After realizing what poverty and ignorance they once lived in, Ada hopes that they'll never have to return. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.
The basic plot from Amazon: 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?





Why I liked it: The War That Saved My Life is set in London at the start of WWII. Ada
has a clubfoot, so her mother is ashamed of her and does not allow her to leave their apartment. At first Ada has the companionship of her younger brother Jamie, but when he gets old enough to play outside and attend school, Ada decides she doesn't want to spend her days sitting in a chair by the window. She becomes determined to learn to walk. Her decision is just in time since children are being evacuated from the city and her mother plans on sending Jamie, but not Ada.
In The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, the lives of Ada and her brother Jamie are changed forever when the threat of bombing forces them to leave London for the English countryside. After realizing what poverty and ignorance they once lived in, Ada hopes that they'll never have to return. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.
The two are sent to Kent, where a strange woman, Miss Susan, is forced to take them in. There they grapple with how different their new life is compared to the poverty and ignorance that marked their lives with their mother. Ada also struggles with the shame insulted in her by her mother and is terrified of returning home. Miss Susan changes their lives, but the children also change hers by helping her come out of the depression she suffered after the death of a close friend.

Classroom application: Possible research topics include the battle at Dunkirk, the British air force, the evacuating of children from London, the role of spies and the bombing of England.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of The War That Saved My Life for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here.

For more reading suggestions for students and teachers:



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