The War That Saved My Life, A Children Book with The War Setting

Saturday, January 11, 2020

The War That Saved My Life
"Saying something stupid doesn't make you stupid. Luckily for all of us." - Susan

Title: The War That Saved My Life
Author: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Number of page: 316 pages
Series: The War That Saved My Life #1
Date of Published: January 8th, 2015
Publisher: Dial Books

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 doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.  
So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two 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 Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?  
This masterful work of historical fiction is equal parts adventure and a moving tale of family and identity—a classic in the making. 


The initial idea to read The War That Saved My life is when I want to finish one of categories from Balabala Reading Challenge 2020. This reading challenge has made by me and my so-called big sister, Zis from Zelie, the book-admirer. That category is books about special needs children. Without further thinking, I tried to search a book recommendation from Google. Then, this book appeared as one of the books that caught my attention.

The Newbery Book

We’d escaped. Mam, Hitler’s bombs, my one-room prison. Everything. Crazy or not, I was free. -- Ada

The War that Saved My Life is written by Kimberly  Brubaker Bradley. To be honest, I never heard of her name as an author. I only want to read this book because this is a children book. Since my reading mood hasn't being that stable, I though reading a children book can ease my feeling to some extent. When I want to add this book into my Goodreads account, I just realized that this book got a medal from Newbery. So, I expected this book could really offer an interesting story.

Ada was a crippled. She had a clubfoot and her mum was ashamed because of it. She never let Ada went out from home and always beat Ada whenever Ada made a mistake. Ada, herself, was only can see the world through the window. Because her mum rarely at home because she had to work, no wonder if Ada hadn't enough knowledge about word or language.

One day, when the war was gotten worse, all of children in London had to be evacuated.  So did Jamie, Ada's brother. Mum never bother to Ada's condition. She didn't register Ada to be evacuated. But, Ada knew that she had to fight for herself. So, without her mum noticed, everyday Ada tried to walk with her clubfoot. Of course it hurt her so bad but Ada never giver up. She had to walk no matter what.

On the evacuation day, Ada and Jamie sneaked out to the Jamie's school. That was the first time Ada felt free. During the trip, Ada never admitted that she had clubfoot and she didn't know where the train will go. The Iron Lady--the one who managed the distribution of the children, said that there will be a place for Ada and Jamie. Inside her heart, Ada was afraid that no one want take them. Then, in the end of the village, the Iron Lady marched them to the house. Here was a young lady that argued a lot to the Iron Lady, but seems the young lady has defeated. She had to take care Ada and Jamie.

"I never want to have any children," she said. "I won't care both of you."

Will Ada face another threatening life again? Will she and Jamie survived the war?

And then the hall was empty, save the teachers, the iron woman, Jamie, and me. Mam had been right. No one would have us. We were the only ones not chosen. -- Ada


Sumber:, edited by me

As a book with the war setting, I should admit that this book was interesting. At least, I knew about the children's fate when Germany invaded England in World War 2. The character, Ada, wasn't a lovable character, to be honest. She was stubborn and quite. She never told anyone about what's she feeling. She afraid that everyone will only judge her by foot. Okay, I would like to blame her mum for that. Ada's depression and fear made her build her wall so high. She never want to be touched, even by Susan, her guardian. 

"I know you aren’t stupid. Stupid people couldn’t take care of their brother the way you do. Stupid people aren’t half as brave as you. They’re not half as strong." -- Miss Smith 

Jamie, in my opinion, most likely had the same attitude as Ada. He was more influenced by his mom, so she thought Ada shouldn't walk by her own foot. He thought that being a crippled was a sin. Yeah, after I read this book, I started to like Susan. How she managed to take care Ada and Jamie very nicely. Susan had a big role for Ada and Jamie's life. She feed them, took care of them, and also taught them how to behave and also about knowledge like reading and math. She acted like a parent.

I like when Ada started to change her behavior. She became more mature as a children, even though sometimes her stubbornness still very annoying. One thing that I realized when I read this book is when Bradley describe the war situation. I don't know if this is proper or not, but as a children book, this book has a quite detail for the war. It was about the Germany's invasion, how hard the situation to get food in the middle of the war, or when one ship full of injured soldier came to Ada's village and Ada tried to help Susan to help them.

Hero wasn’t a word I was used to hearing. The admiration was interesting, but the attention made me feel unsettled. -- Ada

Yeah, even though I still with an opinion that Ada is very annoying, I still can enjoy the story. Even, I started to curious with the second book, The War I Finally Won. Anyway, the title of this book is very relatable with the story. So, you should read it by yourself.

4 of 5 stars for Butter, Ada's pony and Susan's kindness.

Puji P. Rahayu

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