Sunday, January 15, 2017
The War That Saved My Life
This book won a Newbery Honor award in 2016. You can find all the Newbery Award and Honor books at the ALA website.
Newbery awards are given to the most distinguished American children's book published in the previous year. The award has been given out since 1922.
I've read quite a few Newbery Award and Honor books since I was a school librarian. I really enjoyed this one.
The story takes place during World War II. Ada and Jamie live with their cruel mother in a one-room flat in London. Ada is ten years old, and she has never been outside. Her mother is ashamed of her because she has a club foot. Ada has never even walked, but she is beginning to realize that she could have a life outside her window. One day, a notice came home from school with Jamie that all children should be sent to the countryside to be protected from bombs that would likely hit London.
Ada's mom says that Jamie can go, but not Ada. In the middle of the night, Ada woke Jamie and left the flat for the first time. They got on a train to Kent and were placed with a woman named Susan. There, Ada slowly came to life as she was free to explore the outside world. Susan, who was at first reluctant to take children in, became the mother Ada and Jamie needed.
This was a touching and informative book of the World War II era in London. It is recommended for grades 4-6, but I would lean toward the higher side because of the mother's insensitive cruelty.