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!
Very excited to announce that we have received the second starred review for The War I Finally Won from Kirkus Reviews!
The full review has been published online here (Warning: contains slight spoilers!) and will be in the review magazine released tomorrow!
Ada returns in this sequel to Newbery Honor book The War That Saved My Life (2015)…Enough back story is provided that readers new to Ada’s story won’t be lost. Patient Susan, providing a home to Ada and her little brother, Jamie, during the Blitz, becomes their legal guardian, but Ada, damaged by 10 years of abuse, doesn’t ever feel safe. Living in the midst of a world war only adds to Ada’s constant worries, and from blackout screens to rations, the stress and strain felt in everyday Kent during World War II is plain…
Ada’s struggles with her trauma are portrayed with such incredible nuance and heart-wrenching realism that readers are sure to empathize deeply and revel in the joy of watching thoughtful, introspective Ada heal and grow. When tragedy strikes, all suffer, but Ada is able to help another in greater anguish than herself thanks to lessons from her own painful past. Thoughtful, brave, true, and wise beyond her years, Ada is for the ages—as is this book. Wonderful. (Historical fiction. 10-14)
Very exciting news (a few days old, but oh well!) about the first review for The War I Finally Won! Excerpts below!
The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
This sequel to Bradley’s Newbery Honor–winning The War That Saved My Life
(rev. 1/15) begins with high drama…
Details of life on the WWII home front? Check: food rationing; fire-watching;
blackout curtains; pig clubs. Memorable characters? Plenty, including Jewish refugee
and math whiz Ruth, whom Lady Thorton despises for being German.
Throughout everything, events both mundane and dramatic (and there
are a ton; the book is packed with incident), runs the thread of Ada’s emotional
healing…Bradley sweeps us up in the story she’s telling and at the same time raises hard questions and makes us think—even as she moves us to tears. Today’s generation of readers is unlikely to discover Magorian’s classic Good Night, Mr. Tom (rev. 6/82)—but the two volumes of Ada’s story fill that void, with bells on.
The full review will be published in the September/October 2017 Horn Book Magazine. Warning: the full review does contain spoilers!
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