Published in 2015, The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, is about children being sent from London to live in the country during WWII. Surprisingly, I'd not read a book about this topic until last month, and now I've read two.
The War that Saved My Life is very similar to Goodnight, Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian that I read last month. Both feature children with an abusive mother and no father present. Both feature children going to a single adult who didn't really want to help in this particular war effort. In both stories, a refugee becomes a bed wetter and needs a rubber sheet, the children in both stories have to return to their abuser, and in both stories the foster parent arrives to save the day.
I enjoyed The War that Saved My Life, but probably would have liked it better had I not read Goodnight Mr. Tom first, which has a more authentic British voice, stronger writing, and a more believable depiction of what an abuse survivor endures.
However, I appreciated Ada's strength and her ability to attempt to create a future for herself that involved more than sitting on a chair and looking out the window. I also admired her determination to protect her little brother no matter the cost to herself.
I didn't understand her mother not wanting to have Ada's clubfoot fixed, and her determination to limit Ada's life.
The ending seemed a bit rushed in this story and I didn't have the emotional response that I had to Goodnight, Mr. Tom.
This book is well worth reading. If you've read both of them, which one did you prefer? I think younger readers will prefer this one and older readers will like Goodnight, Mr. Tom better. Both books are equally highly rated on Goodreads.com.
Read to a child today even if that child is you.