In June 2020, I listened to The War That Saved My Life for my Children’s and Young Adult Literature class. Apparently I did not write a review over it! I will do that soon.
A few weeks ago, I was emptying the book return box outside the library. There I found this book. I had NO IDEA there was a sequel! I immediately checked it out to myself and proceeded to read it in less than 3 days. It has been a really long time since I have managed to do that!
I will say that there is not way I can truly convey through my writing just how powerful these books are.
Once again, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley brings us deep into Ada’s world. It is still early 1940s and we pick up with a very important event in Ada’s life. Even though she is still tucked away in her village with Susan, Ada continues to struggle to let go of her fears and anxiety. She may be physically free but she still struggles in her mind. As the war rages on and more and more people become personally affected by it, Ada will learn that she is not the only one holding on to past trauma and difficulty.
Bradley develops such wonderfully complex characters. Ada’s life experiences (presented in The War That Saved My Life), have caused her to struggle to trust but thanks to the events of WWII along with patience and love from those around her, Ada will finally win the war.
-Ada has experienced true trauma in her life, but those around her can see and understand that. Therefore, they are loving and patient with her as she continues to work through it.
-I love how protective Ada is of her brother Jamie. I also love how protective Susan is of Ada. Their family grows throughout this novel.
-This novel is set in WWII. There is death all around. However, there is no graphic depiction of death. (Except for a plane crash in the village. Even that is mild.)
-Ada did truly experience trauma. She will be moody, anxious, and at times, have verbal outbursts. This could be a great way to discuss how different people handle trauma and the need for working through it.
-Ruth, a young Jewish-German girl comes to live with them. Lady Thorton is not nice to her at all. Even though she is Jewish, Lady Thorton only sees her as the enemy. (Eventually, this will lighten up.) I think this allows for some good discussion about the feelings of war.