Book Review: The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Three Stars)

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Book Review: The War That Saved My Life (#1) by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

(Three Stars)

“There’s things worse than bombs.”

A deep, honest look at life on the cusp of a great war and the end of childhood. Told penetratingly deep from the perspective of a young girl whose life is turned upside down by the evacuation of children from wartime London.

“The house looked asleep.”

Writing that may not appeal to adult readers has a simplicity and directness that sounds authentic. Despite the many decades elapsed since I was ten, I can attest that it comes uncomfortably close to how I sometimes felt during that awful and wonderful time of life.

“You’re in luck, then because I’m not a nice person at all.”

Though the story is told from young Ada’s point of view, the most vivid character is thirty-something Susan, who can split the moral hair between liars and people who tell lies or do what she wants when she wants and how she wants and never expect consequences. I suppose folks like that existed in England in 1939 (judging by the examples of Mary Poppins and Nanny McPhee); she’s certainly recognizable in twenty-first century America.

“Saying something stupid doesn’t make you stupid. Luckily for all of us.”

Winner of numerous awards for young readers. Bought it for our granddaughter. (Don’t tell her.)

“I had so much. I felt so sad.”

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