TWO new starred reviews!!
Awesome news today for The War I Finally Won, with two new starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal!! (There may have been a happy dance.)
Bradley picks up directly after the events of her Newbery Honor–winning The War That Saved My Life, which introduced tenacious Ada who—after years of mistreatment from her mother because of her club foot—summoned the determination to carve out a better life for herself amid the onset of WWII. The war affects 11-year-old Ada more directly now, as she, her younger brother, and their guardian Susan reunite with the prim Lady Thorton, her daughter Maggie, and their family, and Ada undergoes a surgery that allows her better use of her foot. These familiar characters are joined by Ruth, a 16-year-old Jewish German refugee, who has been separated from her family, including a grandmother detained in a concentration camp. Ada and Ruth’s interactions, which begin warily and flourish into sisterhood and trust, portray a perceptive look into othering; it’s Ada who first sees Ruth is more than her German heritage. Bradley sensitively portrays Ada’s journey to accept selfless kindness and love after years of neglect in a poignant and satisfying story of found family that will stay with readers.
* Eleven-year-old Ada picks up her story shortly after The War That Saved My Life left off. …….Ada’s unique voice helps evoke the novel’s vivid setting and numerous complex characters. There is destitution but plenty of humor. There is also plenty of heartbreak and loss, so readers will want to keep a box of tissues handy. VERDICT Fans of the first book will love the sequel even more; truly a first purchase. While it stands alone, encourage readers to read both books to fully appreciate Ada’s remarkable and wholly believable triumph.–Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ
The Full SLJ Review with spoilers can be viewed by clicking on the link!