The War That Saved My Life
by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Nine-year-old Ada is born with a clubfoot and a hateful mother. When her little brother Jamie is sent away from London to the English countryside at the opening of World War II, Ada sneaks off to stay with him and escape her own horrible situation. Thus begins the story of a young girl who doesn’t want (or know how to accept) help from any one, her confused younger brother, and their new foster mother who overcomes her own sorrows to care for them. 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 is an excellent story about making a family and a new life in unusual circumstances, with fully realized characters that are impossible to ignore.