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The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

December 16, 2016

war-saved-lifeThe War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. Pub. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2016.

This excellent novel for intermediate and junior secondary students is one that will evoke every emotion that you have. You will by happy, sad, joyful, angry, frustrated, disbelieving and everything else.

Set in London and the countryside between 1939 and 1940 during the phoney war in which not much happened, until the retreat from Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain.

Ada is 10 years old although she doesn’t know this. She has a clubfoot which has never been treated and gives her enormous pain. She cannot walk and gets around on her backside and her knees. Her mother is a horrible woman who says she is cursed by the devil and that she is too disgusting to mix with other people. She is not.

Ada has a brother Jamie who is about six and goes to school. Ada looks after him although she can never leave the house. Both children are physically and emotionally beaten and are traumatised by their poverty and treatment from their mother.

When the children of London are evacuated to the country by Government decree Ada and Jamie are allocated to a wonderful woman called Susan who has to deal with their trauma. She educates them and heals the wounds in this stunning story that will eat into your soul. Not unlike Michelle Magorian’s Goodnight Mr Tom.

Easy to read with short chapters and you can’t help but be with the children all the way. This book was recommended to me by Elizabeth Cross from St Margaret’s College and everything she told me about this book was true. Thank you Elizabeth.

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