The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley is a children’s historical fiction book recommended for ages 9-12. It’s on Overdrive in an ebook and audiobook format.
Set in England during WW ll, this sometimes wrenching but hopeful story details a child’s journey from abuse and isolation to accepting love and personal fulfillment against great odds and a background of war.
Ada, ten, and her six-year-old brother live in a tiny apartment where Ada never goes outside, including never attending school, because her malicious Mam is ashamed of her daughter’s club foot. Deprivation and isolation from others are Ada’s life, until the German bombing. When urban children are evacuated to the English countryside for safety, both children end up on a farm taken care of by a woman with her own sorrows to cope with.
So begins a restart for Ada. She learns to read, to walk, and to ride a neglected pony. She learns to trust and accept love from an adult for the first time in her life. The war’s violence and danger is still near, as there is a busy military airstrip nor far from the farm. Looming also is the fact that their abusive mother may come back and take them away. Against this backdrop of worry and challenges, Ada finds the courage to enter life on new terms.