Thursday, August 27, 2015

courageous and persistent

“It had been awful, but I hadn't quit. I had persisted. 
In battle I had won.” 

― Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, The War that Saved My Life

School has started, and already I have a request for a good historical fiction book. Look no further than The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.

From GoodReads:
Nine-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.

I loved Ada. She is a survivor, courageous and persistent. Her story has an overarching theme of battle and war, both inner and outer. And the difference between lying and liars is beautifully told. The historical detail of the book is amazing and frequently ties in to the larger theme, especially the posters: "Freedom is in peril. Defend it with all your might."

If you or someone you know is looking for historical fiction, this is the book for you. The War that Saved My Life touches on many facets of World War II and life in England at that time: child evacuees, bombing raids, rationing, Land Girls, victory gardens, the Dunkirk evacuation, and more.

There's a great resource page from Penguin Books that's worth taking a look at for more information. There's a map to show how close Kent is to France and how far London is from Kent. There are also some great statements to consider as you read: "There are different kinds of truths, not just one 'real' truth.", "Sometimes we start to believe what other people think of us." Do you agree or disagree?

This is a beautifully written book and it deserves all the awards it will undoubtedly win. 

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