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The War I Finally Won
Cover of The War I Finally Won
The War I Finally Won
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A New York Times bestseller
Like the classic heroines of Sarah, Plain and Tall, Little Women, and Anne of Green Gables, Ada is a fighter for the ages. Her triumphant World War II journey continues in this sequel to the Newbery Honor–winning The War that Saved My Life


When Ada's clubfoot is surgically fixed at last, she knows for certain that she's not what her mother said she was—damaged, deranged, crippled mentally as well as physically. She's not a daughter anymore, either. Who is she now?

World War II rages on, and Ada and her brother, Jamie, move with their guardian, Susan, into a cottage with the iron-faced Lady Thorton and her daughter, Maggie. Life in the crowded home is tense. Then Ruth moves in. Ruth, a Jewish girl, from Germany. A German? Could Ruth be a spy?
As the fallout from war intensifies, calamity creeps closer, and life during wartime grows even more complicated. Who will Ada decide to be? How can she keep fighting? And who will she struggle to save?

Ada's first story, The War that Saved My Life, was a #1 New York Times bestseller and won a Newbery Honor, the Schneider Family Book Award, and the Josette Frank Award, in addition to appearing on multiple best-of-the-year lists. This second masterwork of historical fiction continues Ada's journey of family, faith, and identity, showing us that real freedom is not just the ability to choose, but the courage to make the right choice.

"Honest . . . Daring."
The New York Times
"Stunning."
The Washington Post
★ "Ada is for the ages—as is this book. Wonderful."
Kirkus, starred review
★ "Fans of the first book will love the sequel even more."SLJ, starred review
★ "Bradley sweeps us up . . . even as she moves us to tears."The Horn Book, starred review
★ "Perceptive . . . satisfying . . . will stay with readers."PW, starred review
"Beautiful." —HuffPost
A New York Times bestseller
Like the classic heroines of Sarah, Plain and Tall, Little Women, and Anne of Green Gables, Ada is a fighter for the ages. Her triumphant World War II journey continues in this sequel to the Newbery Honor–winning The War that Saved My Life


When Ada's clubfoot is surgically fixed at last, she knows for certain that she's not what her mother said she was—damaged, deranged, crippled mentally as well as physically. She's not a daughter anymore, either. Who is she now?

World War II rages on, and Ada and her brother, Jamie, move with their guardian, Susan, into a cottage with the iron-faced Lady Thorton and her daughter, Maggie. Life in the crowded home is tense. Then Ruth moves in. Ruth, a Jewish girl, from Germany. A German? Could Ruth be a spy?
As the fallout from war intensifies, calamity creeps closer, and life during wartime grows even more complicated. Who will Ada decide to be? How can she keep fighting? And who will she struggle to save?

Ada's first story, The War that Saved My Life, was a #1 New York Times bestseller and won a Newbery Honor, the Schneider Family Book Award, and the Josette Frank Award, in addition to appearing on multiple best-of-the-year lists. This second masterwork of historical fiction continues Ada's journey of family, faith, and identity, showing us that real freedom is not just the ability to choose, but the courage to make the right choice.

"Honest . . . Daring."
The New York Times
"Stunning."
The Washington Post
★ "Ada is for the ages—as is this book. Wonderful."
Kirkus, starred review
★ "Fans of the first book will love the sequel even more."SLJ, starred review
★ "Bradley sweeps us up . . . even as she moves us to tears."The Horn Book, starred review
★ "Perceptive . . . satisfying . . . will stay with readers."PW, starred review
"Beautiful." —HuffPost
Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    3.0
  • Lexile:
    520
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    K - 2

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Awards-
Excerpts-
  • From the book

    Chapter 1

    You can know things all you like, but that doesn't mean you believe them.

    "Ada! You need to drink something!" Susan's voice, scolding. Susan's hands, pushing a cup of cold tea into mine.

    "I don't want to," I said. "Really I don't."

    Susan curled my fingers around the teacup. "I understand," she said, "but please try. It's the last thing they're going to let you have. You'll be thirsty in the morning."

    My right foot was twisted sideways at the ankle. It had been all my life. My ankle bones grew curled, so my toenails scraped the ground and what should have been the bottom of my foot faced the sky. Walking hurt like anything. Despite the calluses, the skin on my foot tore and bled.

    This night in the hospital—nearly three years ago now—was September 16, 1940. A Monday. It was a little over a year into the war between Hitler and most of the rest of the world. Eleven years into the war between the rest of the world and me.

    The very next day surgeons were going to chop my curled ankle bones up and rearrange them. Maybe into something like a functional foot.

    I put the teacup Susan gave me to my lips. I forced myself to sip. My throat closed. I choked. Tea splattered across the bedcovers and my tray.

    Susan sighed. She mopped up the spilled tea, then motioned for one of the nurses that was putting up the blackout to come take away my tray.

    Since the start of the war, we covered our windows with blackout screens every night, so that German bombers wouldn't be able to aim at our lights. My hospital wasn't in London, which was getting bombed every night right now, but that didn't mean it wouldn't be hit. You never could tell what Germans would do.

    "Letter for you, Mum," the nurse said, handing Susan an envelope as she scooped up the tray.

    "Delivered to the hospital? How odd." Susan opened it. "It's from Lady Thorton." She unfolded the letter inside. "She must have sent it before she got my note with the boardinghouse's address. Ada, are you quite sure you don't want something to eat? Toast?"

    I shook my head. The mouthful of tea I'd swallowed swirled in my stomach. "I think I'm going to be sick."

    Susan gasped. She looked up at me, snatched a basin from the bottom shelf of my bedside table, and thrust it beneath my chin. I clenched my teeth and held everything in.

    Susan's hand shook. The basin shook too. I looked at her face. She'd gone pale, her eyes dark and wide.

    "What's wrong?" I asked. "What does that letter say?"

    "Nothing," she said. "Breathe deep. That's it." She put the basin down, folded Lady Thorton's letter, and tucked it into her handbag.

    Something was wrong. I could see it on her face. "Is it Butter?" I asked.

    "What?"

    "Has something happened to Butter?" Butter was Susan's pony. I loved him. He was staying in Lady Thorton's stables while I was in hospital.

    "Oh," Susan said. "No. That is, Lady Thorton didn't mention Butter, but she would have if anything were wrong."

    "Maggie?" Maggie was Lady Thorton's daughter, my best friend.

    "Maggie's fine," Susan said. Her hands still shook very slightly. Her eyes didn't look right. "Everyone's fine in the village."

    "And Jamie's fine," I said. It was a statement, not a question, because it had to be true. My brother Jamie wasn't in the village—he was here with us. Susan and Jamie and Bovril, Jamie's cat, were staying in a rented room in a boardinghouse near the hospital. Jamie was there with the landlady now.

    Jamie was six years old. We'd guessed he was seven, but we had his birth certificate now and he wasn't, not quite.

    I was eleven. I had my birth...

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 28, 2017
    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. Ages 9–12. Agent: Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown.

  • School Library Journal

    September 1, 2017

    Gr 4-6-Eleven-year-old Ada picks up her story shortly after The War That Saved My Life left off. She's in the hospital, nervously awaiting the surgery that will fix her club foot, when Susan receives a letter from Lady Thornton that obviously upsets her. Turns out, Ada's mother was killed in a bombing. Ada does not know how to feel about that, but, ever practical, she worries about where that leaves her and brother Jamie now that they are war orphans instead of child evacuees. Despite Susan's assurances that the three of them are family now, Ada remains prickly and irritable, particularly when Jamie falls easily into calling Susan "Mum." The three move into a cottage on the Thornton estate and are soon joined by Lady Thornton when the big house is needed for the war effort. Ada is leery of Lady Thornton, but living in close quarters brings out the best and worst in everyone, especially when Lord Thornton arrives with a German Jewish girl named Ruth whom he wishes Susan to tutor. 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

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from August 15, 2017
    Ada returns in this sequel to Newbery Honor book The War That Saved My Life (2015).Shortly after the events that closed the last book, a successful surgery means overjoyed 11-year-old, white Ada no longer has a clubfoot. She can walk, run, and ride relatively pain-free, but pain returns in a different way: Ada's abusive birth mother has been killed in an air raid. 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. But Ada finds comfort in her horse, Butter, and her family, which grows to include privileged Lady Thorton and Ruth, a teenage, Jewish German refugee. 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)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • DOGO Books kaylaa_misch22 - Ada and her little brother Jamie where abused children during the war, after their mother dies they are taken in by an older lady named Susan. she treats them like her own children. They also take in a jew child (The war was against Hitler and stuff like that) And the craziness does not stop from there, from foot surgery to broken bones, Ada and Jamie finally have somewhere to call home. I can connect this book to children today, lots of them are put into foster care and never have a place to call home after a while. similar to Ada and Jamies situation I give this book 5 stars because it helps you understand what was going on and what it was like living during the war.
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The War I Finally Won
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