Hi everyone, this first week’s post is about two stories that focus on children who were evacuated into the countryside during those first few years of World War Two in England. The small family unit they create and the story that followed was very poignant and heartfelt. If you like me have an affinity towards these type of stories then these stories are meant for you!
Title: The War that saved my life
Author: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Publication details: Dial Books for Young Readers; NY, 2015
What this book is about: Ten-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment as her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot. So when her little brother, Jaimie, is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute – she sneaks out to join him. A new adventure begins for Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the 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 Jaimie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Set during one of the most explosive periods in world history, this amazing story is equal parts adventure and a moving tale of family, identity, and the fire of self-worth that can, when fed, burn brightly in all of us.
My review: An amazing story of courage, the power of the human spirit, and what we can achieve with the gentle hand of love and compassion. The first historical fiction story featuring wartime child evacuees that I’ve read set in the eastern county of Kent. The author’s beautiful descriptions of the landscape and life during that time transported me straight there as I walked behind Ada and Jaimie. I have cried for characters in books before but not as much as I did for Ada in this one!! This author brought this young girl’s character to life in these pages and you couldn’t help but fall in love with her as she overcame life’s challenges and basically grew up. A lovely story for all!!
Additional notes: This title has won the Odyssey Award, the Judy Lopez Memorial Award for Children’s Literature, and the Schneider Family Book Award for Middle School in 2016. It was also nominated for the Newbery Medal in 2016, along with the Rebecca Caudill Young Reader’s Book Award, and the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award in 2017 with many more others.
Title: The War I finally won
Author: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Genre: Fiction – historical
Publication details: Dial Books; NY, 2017
What this book is about: When Ada’s clubfoot is surgically fixed at last, she knows for certain that she’s not what her mother said she was – crippled in her mind as well as in her body. But who is she, she wonders? Ada and her brother, Jamie, are living with their guardian, Susan, in a cottage in the English countryside on the estate of the formidable Lady Thornton and her daughter, Maggie, Ada’s dearest friend. Life in the crowded cottage is tense. Then Ruth, a Jewish girl from Germany moves in. The War I finally won is the marvellous conclusion to Ada’s powerful, uplifting story.
My review: What an amazing story!! Out of all the World War Two stories I’ve read, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley’s latest novel is truly unique. Since being away from the outside world and not being taught, her unique curious nature on the war and all that it entails; the prejudices, hatred and fear, is all new to her. Along with this stunning sequel, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley has woven a remarkable story in both books with a whole cast of characters and given us an amazing heroine in Ada. Ada is truly going to climb the literary ladder and take a place among Anne Shirley and Jo March, for me anyway. Awesome read!!
My rating for both books: 5 ⭐
Additional notes: This title was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Middle Grade & Childrens in 2017.