The War That Saved My Life (2000)
The War that Saved My Life (2000)
Rating
4.61 of 5 Votes: 3
ISBN
0803740816 (ISBN13: 9780803740815)
languge
English
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This book takes place in the 1940s in London during WWII. Ada has a club foot and her Mam has told her all her life she is worth nothing with the club foot. Her Mam makes her stay inside all day everyday. She actually runs away with her brother when he is evacuated with other children to safer places in England because her Mam thinks she is worthless and doesn't need to go. Ada and her brother are placed with a single woman named Susan, who is reluctant to take them. Ada steps into a new adventure. Will they have to go back to their Mam at the end of the war?This book is a really good historical fiction read. I would probably have to give it 4 1/2 stars. Very clean and easy read. I listened to this audiobook after seeing its starred review in School Library Journal, and I'm so glad I did. The compelling story, coupled with a wonderful narration, was delightful and hard to put down.This is the story of Ada and her brother Jamie, who live in London in the days leading up to World War II. They live with their mother, who can be both cruel and neglectful. She is especially cruel to Ada, who has a club-foot that prevents her from walking normally. She forbids Ada from leaving their flat, so Ada spends her days watching the world outside her window. She teaches herself to walk, and when children are evacuated from London to the countryside, she plans her and Jamie's escape.After escaping the flat without waking their mother, Ada and Jamie arrive in a country village. They watch as one child after another is chosen by village families, until they are the only children left. Jamie and Ada are driven to the house of Ms. Susan Smith, who reluctantly agrees to take the children in. Susan lives alone, although the children soon learn that she used to share the house with her best friend Becky, who died of pneumonia two years before. Ada and Jamie are malnourished, dirty, and scared. Susan has no idea how to take care of children, and is still grieving the loss of her friend Becky. But the three soon learn to not only manage, but begin to thrive together. While Susan provides the children with the basic necessities of food, clothing, and medical care, the children give Susan a purpose to her days. Although they begin to flourish together, the possibility that Mam will take the children back to London is always looming in the background. The book deals with heavy topics in a manner that is appropriate for middle grade readers. The idea that family is not always defined by blood relation is one of the central themes. The relationship between Susan and Becky is hinted at, but never explicitly defined, allowing nuanced readers to pick up on the inferences. And although the tension in the book is sustained right up until almost the end, the conclusion is satisfying and doesn't seem rushed.This book is skillfully narrated by Jane Entwistle, who is also the voice of Flavia de Luce. Entwistle does a wonderful job differentiating between characters in both intonation and accent. I would definitely recommend both the print and (especially) the audio version of this book.
Reviews
mel
fabulous characterization; great plot; believable; heart wrenching
hoptoo
My favorite of 2015 so far. Highly recommended!
msfuture
Wonderful story!!
blueeyes
4.5 stars //
Dixiechik12
Soooo good.
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