The War That Saved My Life

The War That Saved My Life

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Pub Date: 03 June, 2016
Extent: 336pp
Format: paperback
ISBN: 9781925355642
Rights: UK & Comm (exc. Canada): Text Publishing
Reading Age: 10+

  • Winner, Newbery Honor Book, United States, 2016
  • Winner, Schneider Family Book Award, United States, 2016
  • Shortlisted, West Australian Young Readers' Book Award, 2017

An exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds, set during World War II.
Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room flat. 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 for Ada, and for Miss Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take in the two children. 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.


‘Achingly lovely…Nuanced and emotionally acute, this vivid tale from the wartime home front will have readers ages 10-14 wincing at Ada’s stumbles and rejoicing to the point of tears in her victories.’ Wall Street Journal

‘Ada’s voice is brisk and honest; her dawning realizations are made all the more poignant for their simplicity… Things come to an explosive head, metaphorically and literally. Ignorance and abuse are brought to light, as are the healing powers of care, respect and love. Set against a backdrop of war and sacrifice, Ada’s personal fight for freedom and ultimate triumph are cause for celebration.’ STARRED Review, Kirkus

‘Proving that her courage and compassion carry far more power than her disability, Ada earns self-respect, emerges a hero, and learns the meaning of home.’ STARRED Review, Publishers Weekly

‘Absolutely breathtaking…An incredibly emotional and poignant read…[It] will stay with you long after the final page is turned. This book is truly remarkable.’ Diva Booknerd

‘Very powerful…A wonderful and well written story of the internal and external struggles that we can all face.’ Lamont Books

‘Bradley presents this episode in Britain’s history in a form that young readers will appreciate, learn from and enjoy: a moral tale wrapped up in an adventure story…A moving and uplifting read.’ BookMooch

‘A beautifully written and very moving book, bound to be an instant classic …A beautiful story of hope and family.’ Booktopia

‘Worthy of all the awards it has won, this book is an uplifting read of one girl overcoming incredible odds. The reader is carried along by the story of Ada’s trials and triumphs…Beautifully written.’ ReadPlus

‘Bradley unfolds Ada’s world, so truncated and tortured, with deft skill…A compelling read.’ Historical Novel Society

An exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War 2.