The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Ada has spent her entire life in her tiny London apartment with only her Mam and little brother Jamie for company. She has to stay there because she is a cripple who can’t even walk right due to her bad foot. Mam has told her over and over it’s her fault and no one else would want to be around her. Then the war comes, along with plans to send the children out to the countryside. Ada is as sure that Jamie can’t survive without her as she is that she won’t survive being alone with Mam. So she learns to walk—painfully and slowly. But it’s enough to escape. She and Jamie are sent to live with Miss Smith, who never wanted children and certainly doesn’t want to be stuck with two refugees. Still, she does her best, giving the two food, clothing, shelter—even taking them to the doctor. Best of all, she has a horse. Determined to find freedom, Ada teaches herself to ride the same way she learned to walk. And she soon discovers that she’s not as worthless as Mam always said. In fact, she is as good as anyone else. But she worries that Miss Smith will send her back. And then there’s the war to worry about.
This touching and beautiful story shows one girl’s determination to live her own life. Her journey, like learning to walk, is slow and painful. Highly recommended to readers in grades 4 and up who enjoy stories of war and people overcoming adversity.
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