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The War That Saved My Life

(The War That Saved My Life #1)

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  69,321 ratings  ·  9,514 reviews
An exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War 2, from the acclaimed author of Jefferson’s Sons and for fans of Number the Stars.
Ten-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 doe
Hardcover, 316 pages
Published January 8th 2015 by Dial Books
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Amy There is nothing juvenile about the writing or the emotions in this book! I would love to read it for a book club. It has tremendous depth and resonan…moreThere is nothing juvenile about the writing or the emotions in this book! I would love to read it for a book club. It has tremendous depth and resonance.

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As a child I was what one might call a selective reader. Selective in that I studiously avoided any and all works of fiction that might conceivably be considered “depressing”. Bridge to Terabithia? I’ll have none please. Island of the Blue Dolphins? Pass. Jacob Have I Loved? Not in this lifetime. Lord only knows what caused a book to be labeled “depressing” in my eyes before I’d even read it. I think I went by covers alone. Books picturing kids staring out into the vast nothingness of the univer ...more
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am a 10 year old girl and I read this for school. I loved it so much and I hope there is a sequel. If there is another book I will definitely read it and I would recommend this book to everyone that likes books about not giving up!!! Happy reading!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rating: one million stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
In the midst of a reading slump I decided to try a different genre – middle grade fiction. I’ve seen great reviews (thanks Debbie!) and when an IRL friend also recommended it (thanks Jan!), I decided to pick it up. What a gem! The audiobook was narrated by Jayne Entwistle, who narrates the Flavia de Luce novels by Alan Bradley. Her narration is perfection.

Eleven-year-old Ada was born with a clubfoot and her abusive and cruel mother uses it as an excuse to keep her a prisoner in their one room ap
Barb Middleton
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Call me dumpling, if this isn't a Newbery contender for 2016. The historical details, character development, tight plot, and rich layered themes make this firecracker sizzle. Ten-year-old Ada has a clubfoot and is kept locked in her family's one bedroom apartment while her six-year-old brother, Jaimie, roams free in London, England. Mam hits her two children and punishes Ada by locking her in the cabinet under the sink. World War II is about to happen, and parents are sending children to the cou ...more
Just reread this absolute favourite. We read this aloud for the second time and it was even more enjoyable than the first. This was great escapism and perfect release from the current situation. We loved the characters more than ever, in particular Ada and Susan, but all the others. This is our favourite recently written book, and we’ve read quite a few. Ada is a great character, Brubaker Bradley is very talented at writing great, complex characters and she gives them such a wonderfully humorous ...more
Elyse  Walters
...narrated by Jayne Enteistle ( fantastic narrator)

It’s the start of WWII. ( 1935)

If there’s ever been a buzz book that deserved every award it had received… This is it!!!
I can’t imagine anyone not being swept away by the characters, story, challenges, and love!!!

....2,135 five star reviews on Amazon!!!
....A Newbery Honor Book
....Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award ( Middle School)
....Winner of the Josette Frank Award
Every one of my friends who has just come out of the woodwork to say how much they love this book is DEAD TO ME.


Because I literally do not remember one of them telling me that I MUST READ THIS IMMEDIATELY, and they should have. I remember a bit of buzz around it as Newbery season rolled around. I remember there being "no surprise" when it was named as an honor book. So I dutifully bought it, read the first page, thought, UGH, HOW HORRIBLE! and put it aside. The sequel just came out and every
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A delightful, heartfelt and engaging read! A very well-written book on human emotions and history.

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley`s The War that Saved My Life is the story of nine-year-old Ada and her young brother Jamie, set during the times of World War II. I felt few glimpses of Roald Dahl`s Matilda, but on the whole this is a unique and nicely written book. As the blurb says, this is indeed an exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds!

A must-read.
Not bad for a middle grade novel. Not bad at all. A beautiful and heartwarming story about overcoming emotional and physical abuse, and learning to accept unconditional love from yourself and from others. Takes place during World War II in London. This novel doesn't pull punches or try to sugar coat the harshness of life. "The War That Saved My Life" will tug at your heartstrings, and reaffirm your faith in the kindness of strangers. Enjoy! ...more
Rachel Reads Ravenously

4.5 stars!

“I don't know what to say," she said, after a pause. "I don't want to tell you a lie, and I don't know the truth."

It was maybe the most honest thing anyone had ever said to me.

Man this book really packed in the feels! There were moments where I felt like I had been punched with emotion!

The War That Saved My Life is about Ada, a young girl with a deformed foot whose mother kept her inside all her life. When London fears Hitler will start bombing it, all the children are sent to t
No need to count my senior yawns…this book woke me right up!

What? Right before my eyes, I’m changing into a person who loves well-written books for middle-schoolers. Who knew?! It all happened because a precocious ten-year-old bossed me around and made me read to her. Man, was I lucky—I’m finding all these gems! And genres that normally would turn me off, like fantasy. This book is historical fiction, a genre that’s not one of my go-to’s. Absolutely no complaints about my metamorphosis; I’m havi
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

“'You did a good job taking care of Jamie,' Susan said. 'But it was a big job, and you shouldn’t have had to do it. So now you can relax. I can take care of you. You don’t have to fight so hard.'”

Argh! I think I'm crying. Yup. What a wonderful, emotional, thought-provoking book, and written for middle schoolers! Lately I've realized that what I appreciate most in a book is when the author gives the reader some credit, and doesn't dump emotions all over the page or over explain writing techni
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
Oh my heart was this book good. The kind of book that everyone should read. My heart was broken and mended, and grew about 3 sizes. I finished it in the parking lot before going in to get my groceries and sat there weeping. Then I immediately ordered a copy of the second book so that I can know the rest of the story! This is Middle Grade at its very finest.
This is set during WWII and opens up in the Summer of 1939. Ada is ten years old, and has never left her apartment except for one time. The one time she ventured outside she was beaten so badly by her mother. I knew within 90 seconds of starting this audio book I absolutely despised the mother. She is so disgusted and humiliated by Ada's disfigured foot that she doesn't want anyone to see her.

Children are starting to be sent away to live in the countryside temporarily to keep them safe. Jamie i
I was thoroughly absorbed by this wonderful book. I loved it! It touched my heart. Set in the early years of World War II It follows the experiences of two young evacuees, brother and sister, escaping from awful lives in London. Their transformation, especially in the older child while they are away, makes for wonderful reading. Born at the beginning of the war myself I found lots to remind me of those difficult years. The story centres round the hardships of war and themes of cruelty, low self ...more
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
While still reading, I reserved the sequel and intend to read it soon. I was emotionally invested in this story and its many characters.

This is a brilliantly done middle grade novel. It’s a page turner! It is an extremely well deserved Newbery Honor book. I’d have been happy had it won the Newbery Award.

Ada is a great character! She’s smart and resourceful and brave and caring and loyal and observant, and inspiring. She’s also been horribly traumatized and is dealing with the ramifications of
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a story about Ada and her brother James. Ada's mother is a horrid woman that hates her bc she was born with a clubfoot. Calls Ada simple, cripple, worthless. World War 2 starts in England and as the kids evacuate London to go the country Ada escapes also. James and Ada live with Susan Smith. Seems mean at first but loves and cares for the kids slowly.

Such a good read. I liked that the story is about a girls will to fight for her happiness. I liked that WWII in this story had little focus
The Library Lady
Okay, this has been done before and has lots of stock characters--the disabled/abused child who gets away from a bad situation and blossoms, the adorable younger sibling who needs to be protected, the unlikely guardian who doesn't want them, but learns to love them.

Yet it's fresh and new and I stayed up till well past my bedtime reading it, and I DIDN'T WANT IT TO BE OVER.

In other words, it's really, really good and I thank Edelweiss for my digital ARC.
Abby Johnson
I can't get over how much I loved the characters in this WWII English home front story. It was fascinating to me to read a book about one sibling being horribly abused by her mother while her younger sibling was treated fairly regularly. Ada seemed really realistic to me, brimming with emotions and occasionally volatile. Susan, their steadfast caretaker, was complicated, too, still mourning the loss of her "good friend", a woman named Becky whom she lived with. Ms. Baker shows how these characte ...more
Daina Chakma
It was my first read of Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and she won my heart! The War that saved my life was absolutely breathtaking and one of the best books I've ever read!

While reading this book, I felt so submerged into all characters that it was hard to remember I was not Ada or Susan. Sometimes I was Susan, who was a melancholic soul and didn't want anyone in her life, for she was completely absorbed by sorrow of her loss and sometimes I was Ada, a ten years old little girl, who was fighting h
Feb 27, 2016 rated it liked it
I feel like I really must be missing something with this one. Newbery Honor, great reviews, but to me it just felt like a story that's been done to death, with nothing really fresh. Neglected London child evacuated for safety to the country, placed with grouchy hermit, blooms and brings new joy and community integration to grouchy hermit. Good Night, Mr. Tom all over again. Only not nearly as well done. Our protagonist here, Ada, is not just horribly abused, but also crippled due to her mother's ...more
Barbara A.
Nov 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the finest middle school novels I've read in quite a while. We are treated to an intense and involving reading experience guided by a strong narrator/heroine in the person of evacuee Ada Smith. Bradley does a particularly wonderful job of integrating vivid historic detail and emotionally believable situations. The characterizations (Jamie, Susan, Margaret, Mr Grimes, Mam, etc.) are complex and well drawn. So much so that I began to long for a second novel about these people and their live ...more
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book's translation that saved my life. I was trying to read this book in the original and I thought it would be easy, after all, it's a book written for children, right? Well, I failed! The book's language is very difficult for a foreigner that is learning English by herself. So, I bought this book translated into my own language (Portuguese) in and I got it read in a few hours. What happiness! I loved the book. Now, I'll read the second book "The war I finally won" in Portugue ...more
Ada discovers there are worse things than bombs after she escapes her Mam’s cruelty during a children’s evacuation of World War II London.

Crippled by an untreated clubfoot and imprisoned at home by Mam, Ada has survived, but she hasn’t thrived. Only caring for her brother, Jamie, has made life tolerable. As he grows, goes out and tells Ada about the world, her determination to enter it surges. She secretly begins learning to walk and joins Jamie when Mam sends him to the country. Ada narrates, r
Sweet story about a girl with a clubfoot (Ada) evacuated to the country from London at the beginning of WWII. Not only do she and her brother get away from their abusive mother, but they have the good luck to be billeted with Susan Smith, a grieving spinster lady who is estranged from her family.

Miss Smith is living in the home that was willed to her by her good friend. She is not keeping up with the care of the horse that was also left to her and this is where Ada fits in. Ada is fascinated wi
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was so good! The story of a young girl and her brother in the early days of the Second World War in England.
Ada and Jamie live with an abusive mother, who beats Ada and keeps her confined, all because Ada has a club foot. When the kids hear that children will be evacuated to the countryside, Ada and Jamie escape. There, they live for several months with Susan Smith. Together, the three become a family, while the war begins.
Ada's portrayal was fantastic, with her anger, hurt, inability to tr
Amanda Snow
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade, audio, 2015
One of the best historical fiction books for this age range I've ever read (listened to). Narrator was fantastic, characters were perfectly done, and the pacing was on point. An incredible story of a brother and sister during WWII. Will make my Best Books of 2015 list for sure. ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Sometimes a book proves so breathtakingly beautiful and poignant that words fail; that would be The War That Saved My Life. Author Kimberly Brubaker Bradley has crafted an unforgettable coming-of-age novel that launches at the cusp of the beginning of the Second World War. Ada Smith — so neglected that she doesn’t really know her age nor her birthday — has been kept in a one-room flat over a pub her entire life. Her abusive mother has never sent her to school, ashamed of Ada’s club foot; she’s h ...more
Brooke W
I didn't want to DNF this book when I was in 4th grade, but I made Harry Potter a priority. I'll pick this up again next week!!!

I have to dnf this again. When I get past the chaos of buddy reads and BOTMs in February I'll pick it up again. I love it but I have made commitments to other groups/people.
This was a page turner almost from the start. And it ticks so many of my boxes: Heartwarming, historical, engaging, there is a cat character, there is a much older character interacting with a younger one. So much to love here.

Yes, it is WWII fiction, so you have to expect some grueling bits but since this is a middle grade book, it never goes too far. There is a character in here I wondered a little about at first in that I couldn't believe anyone could be so mean but the reality is that this
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Susan & Becky 1 11 Dec 18, 2020 07:08AM  
The Midnight Readers: The War that Saved my Life (Eman & Nimrat) 5 25 Dec 15, 2020 05:54AM  
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Today (August 11, 2020) is the publication date of my 18th book, Fighting Words. It's the book of my heart; the best work so far that I've done.

Today I woke up to writer friends announcing that it was my book's birthday. I woke up in a house filled with books. I woke up, as I went to sleep, surrounded by my family's love. I am so grateful.

Anyone can be a writer. All you need is the guts to see yo

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The War That Saved My Life (2 books)
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“I don't know what to say," she said, after a pause. "I don't want to tell you a lie, and I don't know the truth."
It was maybe the most honest thing anyone had ever said to me.”
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