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The War That Saved My Life book cover

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Dial Books for Young Readers: New York, 2015; $11.89

When I sat down to read the book The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, I thought it was a crummy book. But the more I got into the book, the more I couldn’t put it down. Now, this book is one of my favorites!

The main character, Ada, is a girl with a clubfoot. Due to this, most people around her, such as her neighbors, hate Ada, and try to stay as far away from her as possible. This makes her feel very lonely, and she doesn’t know where she belonged. As Ada thought to herself, right after a teacher wouldn’t let Ada go to class because of her foot: “Why would I cry? I wanted to hit something, or throw something or scream. I wanted to gallop on butter and never stop. I wanted to run, but not with my twisted, ugly, horrible foot.” When this happened, I felt really sorry for Ada. I mean, it was just a clubfoot. Why did everybody treat her like she needed to be put in an asylum? Even her mom was not on the same side as Ada because she thought her clubfoot was an embarrassing sight. She not only hadn’t taken Ada to school, but she hadn’t even let Ada even step foot outside the apartment, leaving Ada not knowing about basic things.

However, Ada is a very brave and caring person. She has a lot of stress on her back, but she continued to fight forward for what was right. This is a reason I like her. Ada may look scrawny and weak, but inside, she’s a good-hearted, strong person. Why, in fact, she even saves the village from a spy!

In contrast to Ada’s biological mother, Susan Smith, Ada’s foster mother, cares about her. Susan tries to help Ada with almost anything. She clearly showed a lot of effort into taking care of her. And when times seemed dark, she glowed, leading Ada into the right direction. Susan reminds me of my mom. My mom is also caring and supportive, and when times are dark, she helps me overcome the dark time with the light, just like Susan does for Ada.

This book takes place during World War Two. Ada sneaks out her apartment onto a train with many children, bound for a safe zone. Once there, she and her younger brother, Jamie, become Ms. Smith’s children. After the war ends, Ada has to try to become normal and get used to the life outside of her apartment. It is hard, but she persists until she finally finds where she belongs.

In this book, Ada had to find her real home. Three years before I read this book, I had to leave my New York home and school I had lived and loved for five years, and move to a new, unfamiliar school in Massachusetts. The lonely feeling in my stomach was relatable to Ada’s. But, just like her, I persisted. Three years after I moved to Massachusetts, I graduated one of the top students in the school. I had persisted, and finally fit in, just like Ada.

Another reason I like this book is that the plot is brilliant and very well thought up. I couldn’t stop reading the book even when it was time for bed because I wanted to know what happened next. I would definitely recommend this book to you. After you finish it, I guarantee it will be your favorite book, too!

Brian Qi The War That Saved My Life
Brian Qi, 11
Lexington, MA