The War I Finally Won (The War That Saved My Life, #2)
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. What is she?World War II continues, and Ada and her brother, Jamie, are living with their loving legal guardian, Susan, in a borrowed cottage on the estate of the formidable Lady Thorton—along with Lady Thorton herself and her daughter, Maggie. Life in the crowded cottage is tense enough, and then, quite suddenly, Ruth, a Jewish girl from Germany, moves in. A German? The occupants of the house are horrified. But other impacts of the war become far more frightening. As death creeps closer to their door, life and morality during wartime grow more complex. Who is Ada now? How can she keep fighting? And who will she struggle to save?

The War I Finally Won (The War That Saved My Life, #2) Details

TitleThe War I Finally Won (The War That Saved My Life, #2)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 3rd, 2017
PublisherDial Books
ISBN-139780525429203
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Childrens, Middle Grade, War, Fiction, Family, World War II, European Literature, British Literature, Young Adult

The War I Finally Won (The War That Saved My Life, #2) Review

  • Abby Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    I *loved* The War That Saved My Life and friends, this is a worthy sequel. I am in awe of Kimberly Bradley's ability to create characters that are so real, feeling emotions that are so raw that the reader can't help but feel them, too. The growth and development of these characters through the story is masterful. I just loved it. I wished it was longer, which was a thing I NEVER wish because finishing a book and marking it as "read" is one of my great pleasures. But I would spend all the time in I *loved* The War That Saved My Life and friends, this is a worthy sequel. I am in awe of Kimberly Bradley's ability to create characters that are so real, feeling emotions that are so raw that the reader can't help but feel them, too. The growth and development of these characters through the story is masterful. I just loved it. I wished it was longer, which was a thing I NEVER wish because finishing a book and marking it as "read" is one of my great pleasures. But I would spend all the time in the world with Ada. Read the first one first. You need to. (And it is also awesome, so why would you skip it?) But then scoop this one up in October when it publishes. If you love character-driven historical fiction, you will not want to miss this!
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  • Scott Fillner
    January 1, 1970
    Trying to put this review into words is so difficult. The story, the characters, the history...it was all done SO well. Kimberly allows us to see Ada to her core. She begins to help us understand the impact of neglect and abuse, the gravity of war, and depth of beginning to understand a concept that is too deep to put into a simple conversation with children. I cannot highly recommend this book enough. I cannot wait for Ss to have this book in their hands come October.
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  • Vikki VanSickle
    January 1, 1970
    THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE is a hard act to follow but I think I have liked this follow-up even more! The bonds of family and friendship are tested and strengthened again as the war continues to wreak havoc on Ada's life. Bradley does not shy away from writing about Ada's anger and confusion and her supporting cast is fully realized and allowed story arcs of their own. I was particularly touched by the portrayal of Lady Thornton, forced to live in close quarters with Ada and her new family, who THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE is a hard act to follow but I think I have liked this follow-up even more! The bonds of family and friendship are tested and strengthened again as the war continues to wreak havoc on Ada's life. Bradley does not shy away from writing about Ada's anger and confusion and her supporting cast is fully realized and allowed story arcs of their own. I was particularly touched by the portrayal of Lady Thornton, forced to live in close quarters with Ada and her new family, who has moments of utter ignorance and borderline cruelty yet grew into one of my favourite characters at the end. There is a touch of Frances Hodgson Burnett about this duology- not to be missed!
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  • Text Publishing
    January 1, 1970
    Ada’s voice is honest and authentic and true…A novel to curl up with on a rainy day; it took me back to the novels I read and loved as a child.’Steph Bowe, author of Night Swimming‘Achingly lovely…Nuanced and emotionally acute.’Wall Street Journal‘An inimitable, robust, yet lyrically written bildungsroman. Its gentle humour is poignant and heartwarming.’The Australian‘Ada’s transformation from an angry young woman into a confident lady is imaginatively drawn.’Australian Women’s Weekly‘A stunning Ada’s voice is honest and authentic and true…A novel to curl up with on a rainy day; it took me back to the novels I read and loved as a child.’Steph Bowe, author of Night Swimming‘Achingly lovely…Nuanced and emotionally acute.’Wall Street Journal‘An inimitable, robust, yet lyrically written bildungsroman. Its gentle humour is poignant and heartwarming.’The Australian‘Ada’s transformation from an angry young woman into a confident lady is imaginatively drawn.’Australian Women’s Weekly‘A stunning story that will pluck you into its events and carry you along to its brilliant ending as if you were a feather on a strong, steady breeze.’School Magazine
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  • Alex Baugh
    January 1, 1970
    When last we left our evacuees, Ada Smith and her younger brother Jaime, they had been taken away from Susan Smith (no relation), with whom them had been living after being evacuated from London, and brought back to London by their mother despite the constant bombing. Sure enough, one night during an air raid, they don’t make it to the shelter because of Ada’s severely clubbed foot, and in the midst of everything, Susan appears to take them back to her house in the countryside.Now, with her club When last we left our evacuees, Ada Smith and her younger brother Jaime, they had been taken away from Susan Smith (no relation), with whom them had been living after being evacuated from London, and brought back to London by their mother despite the constant bombing. Sure enough, one night during an air raid, they don’t make it to the shelter because of Ada’s severely clubbed foot, and in the midst of everything, Susan appears to take them back to her house in the countryside.Now, with her club foot surgically corrected, thanks to the generosity of her best friend’s wealthy parents, Lord and Lady Thorton, Ada returns to the country with Susan and Jaime. And, since Susan’s house has been destroyed by a bomb, they will be living in a cottage on the Thorton estate. Then word comes that Ada’s mother was killed in a bombing raid, and Ada finally begins to feel that maybe she isn’t the terrible person her mother always said she was. When Susan becomes their legal guardian, Jaime immediately begins to call her Mum, but Ada can’t bring herself to do that, and actually resents that Jaime could do it so easily. Calling Susan Mum would require a level of trust that she will always be there, and as Ada knows all too well, you just can’t count on that during a war.When the government requisitions the Thorton manor for war use, the very formidable Lady Thorton moves in with Susan, Ada and Jaime. And when Ruth, a Jewish refugee from Germany is brought there by Lord Thorton to receive math instruction from Susan, so that she can eventually join him in his secret war work in Oxford, things really get tense. Ada and Jaime are convinced that Ruth is a spy, but Lady Thorton takes an immediate dislike and intense to Ruth, seeing her only as a enemy German, and the reason her son Jonathan had joined the RAF and put his life in danger. Ruth and Ada don’t hit is off, either, until they discover a mutual love for horses. But Lady Thorton refuses to let Ruth anywhere on the estate property, except the cottage, and especially the stables. When Susan gives her horse Butter to Ada as a gift, Ada lets Ruth ride her in secret and slowly the two girls develop a fragile friendship.There is lots going on in The War I Finally Won, which I liked. War is a chaotic, confusing, demanding time and Bradley has really captured that. At the same time, the characters that appeared in The War That Saved My Life have the same feel to them, as they should, and even Jaime, whom I felt was a little thin as a character before has become a more developed personality. The thing I found most interesting was the relationship between Susan and Ada. In the first book, it seems so clear cut, but now, Ada keeps Susan at an unexpected distance. Why? With her mother dead and gone (no, that is not a spoiler), I had expected that the three of them would form a nice, lasting family unit. But, ironically, it will take more loss, more sorrow and the realization that anything could really be gone in the blink of an eye for Ada to finally see the need to let herself trust more and that is the war she must finally win. The War I Finally Won is so more than just a satisfying coming of age sequel. While it explores the theme of trust, within that theme, it also explores the idea of how we define family. For those who haven’t read the first book, The War That Saved My Life, I would highly recommend doing so (though it isn’t necessary to enjoy this second book). Luckily, The War I Finally Won won’t be available until October 3, 2017, so there’s still plenty of time to read, or for some to re-read book 1.This book is recommended for readers age 9+This book was an EARC received from the publisher
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  • Linda Williams Jackson
    January 1, 1970
    A beautifully told story. I was honored to have the privilege of reading an ARC of this book via the #bookexpedition group on Twitter. I didn't get to spend as much time savoring this book as I would have liked, so I will have to sit with it again when it is published.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    5 stars isn't enough for the sequel to Ada's story. Beautiful from beginning to end!
  • Edie
    January 1, 1970
    While this book could be considered a sequel to the very well received first book, it also stands alone as a story about the hardships of war, the nature of grief, the process of healing, the definition of motherhood and self acceptance. Ambitious, yes but not heavy handed. The book opens with Ada receiving surgery to reshape her foot. Is she grateful, no, she is still full of anger and mistrust, the logical reactions to a child who was not only unloved but seemingly hated for all of her life. I While this book could be considered a sequel to the very well received first book, it also stands alone as a story about the hardships of war, the nature of grief, the process of healing, the definition of motherhood and self acceptance. Ambitious, yes but not heavy handed. The book opens with Ada receiving surgery to reshape her foot. Is she grateful, no, she is still full of anger and mistrust, the logical reactions to a child who was not only unloved but seemingly hated for all of her life. In this book some new characters are introduced, including a German girl and other characters, like Maggie and Lady Thornton are more fully developed. It is a compelling read.
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  • Gwen
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this one as much as the first. It's refreshing to read a story with complicated relationships where all interested parties learn from each other. We can all care about, love, and support each other, no matter the age.
  • Katie Strawser
    January 1, 1970
    I was honestly worried to read this because I love The War That Saved My Life so much and I truly didn't think a sequel could live up to it. I'm happy to report I was wrong. The character development in this book is beautiful. Ada is and will always be one of my favorite characters. Such a perfect addition to her story.
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  • Heather Taake
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't think a sequel could live up to The War That Saved My Life, but KBB has done a fantastic job of it. This book was as good as, if not better than, the first. I got to read an ARC of this, thanks to our fabulous school librarian, and I can not wait for it to come out for the students to enjoy!
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  • Angie
    January 1, 1970
    The War I Finally Won is one of those rare sequels that not only equals the brilliance of the first book, but might even surpass it. This middle grade book continues the story of Ada, who is now having surgery to correct her clubfoot, and her new family and friends. This story does not shy away from the harsh reality of war and gives a very lifelike view of life during World War II England. This will be first on my list to purchase for my school library. Highly recommend!I received a free copy o The War I Finally Won is one of those rare sequels that not only equals the brilliance of the first book, but might even surpass it. This middle grade book continues the story of Ada, who is now having surgery to correct her clubfoot, and her new family and friends. This story does not shy away from the harsh reality of war and gives a very lifelike view of life during World War II England. This will be first on my list to purchase for my school library. Highly recommend!I received a free copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Martha
    January 1, 1970
    The sequel to The War That Saved My Life, The War I Finally Won is a magnificent portrait of the resilience of an abused young girl during World War I. In the first book Ada a child born with a club foot, sustained constant physical and mental pain from a mother who didn't want her. Life provides a second chance for her as she and her brother end up in the English countryside protected from the bombing occurring in London. Both her little brother and Ada are cared for by a wonderfully strong car The sequel to The War That Saved My Life, The War I Finally Won is a magnificent portrait of the resilience of an abused young girl during World War I. In the first book Ada a child born with a club foot, sustained constant physical and mental pain from a mother who didn't want her. Life provides a second chance for her as she and her brother end up in the English countryside protected from the bombing occurring in London. Both her little brother and Ada are cared for by a wonderfully strong caretaker named Susan who rigorously guides them with the survival skills required of a normal child, such as how to express Ada's honest feelings and let go of her intense fears. The voice of Ada is so compelling and honest as she refers to her mother, "All my life I'd been miserable because of that foot."......."She wanted a reason to hate me." Ada painfully faces her fears with the kind but no nonsense strong guidance of Susan as their relationship grows. The sequel does not disappoint, it is one of those books that is SO good you're sad when you finally finish it, and must leave Ada's World War I torn world behind. Readers could read this without reading the prequel because the author does give some of the backstory, but it would be much more satisfying to read The War That Saved my Life first. A pure delight to read, I love Kimberly Brubaker Bradley's writing, and have enjoyed reading her books since reading Ruthie's Gift. I'm always ecstatic when she writes another book. This one is superb!!!!!
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  • Aaron
    January 1, 1970
    I was fortunate to win an ARC of this book on Goodreads. This is another very sought after book at my school since I told students we were getting it early. Almost all the girls that I taught last year are in a draw to determine the order of the holds that have been placed. They are so invested in Ada, and with good reason. This book picks up shortly after The War that Saved My Life as World War II continues and the lives of Ada, Susan, and Jamie continue to evolve. It's a roller coaster of beli I was fortunate to win an ARC of this book on Goodreads. This is another very sought after book at my school since I told students we were getting it early. Almost all the girls that I taught last year are in a draw to determine the order of the holds that have been placed. They are so invested in Ada, and with good reason. This book picks up shortly after The War that Saved My Life as World War II continues and the lives of Ada, Susan, and Jamie continue to evolve. It's a roller coaster of belief, tragedy, hope and belonging that is every bit as wise as the first one. I remember thinking that the first one was so great that I really did not want a sequel but I was very wrong.
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  • Lorie Barber
    January 1, 1970
    I have so many books to read that I normally just try to read the first book in a series; sequels are not a priority for me. However, I (and my students) LOVED The War That Saved My Life sosomuch that I HAD to read its follow up, The War I Finally Won. I am forever glad I did. This historical fiction about trust, bravery, and family will stay with me for such a long time. I daresay I may have liked it better than the first one - and that's saying something! The War I Finally Won is particularly I have so many books to read that I normally just try to read the first book in a series; sequels are not a priority for me. However, I (and my students) LOVED The War That Saved My Life sosomuch that I HAD to read its follow up, The War I Finally Won. I am forever glad I did. This historical fiction about trust, bravery, and family will stay with me for such a long time. I daresay I may have liked it better than the first one - and that's saying something! The War I Finally Won is particularly relevant in today's politically unstable climate and, as such, is an important read for both children and adults. I can't wait to book talk this book pair with my students.
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  • Mary Librarian
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely brilliant! Loved rejoining these characters and the new characters like Ruth who joined the family. Setting, character development, plot are all strong. If you liked The War That Saved My Life, this is a must read. From advanced reader copy.
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  • Cindy
    January 1, 1970
    I finished my ARC copy in one day. The War I Finally Won did not disappoint. Sometimes follow-up books seem forced and the feel of the original story is lost, but this is not the case.Many reviews call Ada a sad-sack (including my daughter) but I believe that she was still recovering emotionally and mentally from her childhood or lack thereof.
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  • Courtney
    January 1, 1970
    I can't believe I loved this sequel as much as The War That Saved My Life! So, so good.
  • Niki (Daydream Reader)
    January 1, 1970
    I fell in love with Ada's story all over again. A must read! Great historical fiction!!
  • Alex
    January 1, 1970
    This was a good sequel!
  • Brenda Kahn
    January 1, 1970
    Reviewing professionally
  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    An exceptionally well-written book that was just as interesting as the first novel. Will be using it for book discussion group when published in the fall.Advanced Reader Copy
  • Clay
    January 1, 1970
    Newbery!
  • Mary Lee
    January 1, 1970
    I think this is my favorite book so far this year. I could hug it. I could start right over at page one and read it again in another big gulp.The way Bradley explores how different characters process trauma and loss is masterful. Woven throughout the whole book there are also such strands of joy and beauty.
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  • Julie Kirchner
    January 1, 1970
    It was an absolute joy to return to Ada's story after reading The War That Saved My Life. Susan has taken charge of the children again and Ada's club foot is finally able to be surgically repaired. The story is more focused on Ada's emotional recovery after being abused by her mother for so long and the challenges she faces in trusting that she is worthy to be loved and cared for. She has also been neglected and doesn't always understand the words people use which leads to fear and frustration. It was an absolute joy to return to Ada's story after reading The War That Saved My Life. Susan has taken charge of the children again and Ada's club foot is finally able to be surgically repaired. The story is more focused on Ada's emotional recovery after being abused by her mother for so long and the challenges she faces in trusting that she is worthy to be loved and cared for. She has also been neglected and doesn't always understand the words people use which leads to fear and frustration. Susan guides Ada with patience, love and compassion eventually allowing Ada to open her heart and to be loved fully and completely. Kimberly Brubaker Bradley has an incredible gift in writing historical fiction, but also in the way she weaves a story with characters that jump off the page and enter your heart and soul. I adore Jamie's boyish honesty, Susan's calm yet straightforward and strong demeanor, Jonathan's kind heart and ability to see what's truly important, and I abhor Mam's unforgivable cruelty. I wanted to leap into the story and hug Ada, to help her believe her mother was wrong to treat her so poorly, and that she is a gift, she is loved, she is enough. An amazing sequel to an already incredible story.I love Invincible Ada so much! I cannot wait until this is available to share with students this fall.
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  • Tory
    January 1, 1970
    This was a two-star book for me the majority of the way through, but it earned an extra star since it ended with some much-needed character growth.Rants I wrote while it was still driving me crazy:-I texted my mom to ask if Ada had been such a sad sack in the first book, too. Her response was "yup, she sure was."-Ruth is a petulant, bitchy, unsympathetic teenager with less common sense than you'd expect from someone her age. People don't know about Judaism? Better be an utter bitch to them, inst This was a two-star book for me the majority of the way through, but it earned an extra star since it ended with some much-needed character growth.Rants I wrote while it was still driving me crazy:-I texted my mom to ask if Ada had been such a sad sack in the first book, too. Her response was "yup, she sure was."-Ruth is a petulant, bitchy, unsympathetic teenager with less common sense than you'd expect from someone her age. People don't know about Judaism? Better be an utter bitch to them, instead of explaining what they don't know.-I was complaining to my husband about it and stumbled upon what bothered me so much about Ada's sad-sack disposition: sure, life had been pretty horrible to her for a long time. But her life had turned around, drastically, for quite a while -- and she STILL couldn't get over her initial horrible distrust of everyone and everything. I understand it takes time to change your entire outlook on life, but when the character continually does NOT show ANY growth, it really becomes grating. "Something happened? Well, obviously it's going to be the worst possible outcome. The end. WHAT THINGS ARE TURNING OUT OKAY?? DO NOT UNDERSTAND, MUST GET ANGRY ANYWAY BECAUSE PEOPLE DIDN'T EXPLICITLY SPELL EVERYTHING OUT FOR ME."
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  • Shannon
    January 1, 1970
    This review is difficult to put into words. The War I Finally Won is a brilliant follow up to the War That Saved My Life. The book begins right before Ada is rolled into surgery to fix her club foot. Her newfound freedom following her recovery is heartwarming as she discovers and explores all of the things she is now capable of. As the war continues, Ada and her companions must endure many hardships but always seem to find the silver lining. She, Jamie, and Susan move into the Thorton's cottage This review is difficult to put into words. The War I Finally Won is a brilliant follow up to the War That Saved My Life. The book begins right before Ada is rolled into surgery to fix her club foot. Her newfound freedom following her recovery is heartwarming as she discovers and explores all of the things she is now capable of. As the war continues, Ada and her companions must endure many hardships but always seem to find the silver lining. She, Jamie, and Susan move into the Thorton's cottage which is more like a small mansion. Mrs. Thorton soon moves in alongside them after her house is borrowed for the war effort. Not long afterwards, Lord Thorton brings a German Jewish girl named Ruth into the cottage for Susan to tutor in order to prepare for important War work. Readers come to understand how much abuse Ada had undertook in her youth living with Mam and how difficult it is to overcome it. Each character has a beautifully woven story arc and character development throughout the story. I hope Kimberly Brubaker Bradley continues to grace us with more stories in the years to come.
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  • Laura Gardner
    January 1, 1970
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 for #TheWarIFinallyWon, an essential #mglit purchase. This one is out 10/3/17. Thx to @reader4evr for sharing her ARC with me! Love my IG #bookstagram community. 😍..5 things to know about this book:1. Yes, there needed to be a sequel. I thought #TheWarThatSavedMyLife was pretty perfect, but it's clear in chapter 1 of this book that Ada is not anywhere close to feeling secure despite being safe with Susan in the countryside. The trauma she suffered at the hands of her mother continues to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 for #TheWarIFinallyWon, an essential #mglit purchase. This one is out 10/3/17. Thx to @reader4evr for sharing her ARC with me! Love my IG #bookstagram community. 😍..5 things to know about this book:1. Yes, there needed to be a sequel. I thought #TheWarThatSavedMyLife was pretty perfect, but it's clear in chapter 1 of this book that Ada is not anywhere close to feeling secure despite being safe with Susan in the countryside. The trauma she suffered at the hands of her mother continues to affect her. The book starts up right after Ada's surgery for her clubfoot.2. The war gets much worse of course. You feel all the pain and suffering with the characters. They had to eat some pretty yucky food and of course people die, too. 3. A young Jewish German girl named Ruth comes to stay; I think students will be interested to realize most people in England didn't know anything about the Holocaust while it was happening.4. Ada still has so many gaps to fill in her education; there are some truly funny moments because she doesn't understand certain words. 5. You'll probably cry while reading this book. I know I did!
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  • Darla
    January 1, 1970
    This sequel to "The War That Saved My Life" was expertly written and an evocative continuation of Ada's story. Her clubfoot is fixed and her body can do things she has never done before, but her emotional growth is still stunted from her time in the city and Mam locking her in the cabinet and keeping her hidden.Readers who loved the first one will find as much or more to love about he second book in the series. Adults and teenagers will also find "Between Shades of Gray" by Ruta Sepetys to be an This sequel to "The War That Saved My Life" was expertly written and an evocative continuation of Ada's story. Her clubfoot is fixed and her body can do things she has never done before, but her emotional growth is still stunted from her time in the city and Mam locking her in the cabinet and keeping her hidden.Readers who loved the first one will find as much or more to love about he second book in the series. Adults and teenagers will also find "Between Shades of Gray" by Ruta Sepetys to be an enjoyable read and another opportunity to experience WW II through the eyes of young girl.One of my favorite aspects of these books is the way Kimberly Brubaker Bradley writes such an authentic inner voice for Ada. We can empathize with Ada as she struggles to understand so many things that have not been taught to her. So many times she makes assumptions and acts on them without asking for an explanation that would calm her fears. It is a joy to watch Ada grow and mature both emotionally, mentally and physically in these books. Highly recommended!
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  • Christina Hanson
    January 1, 1970
    "You can know things all you like, but that doesn't mean you believe them." What a powerful and meaningful quote in The War I Finally Won, the highly anticipated sequel to The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley..Ada's clubfoot has been fixed, but her relationship with Mam may never be. As the war around them continues, Ada, Jamie, and Susan are having to stay in Lady Thornton's cottage due to Susan's house being destroyed by the bombings. Things are getting a bit crowded in the "You can know things all you like, but that doesn't mean you believe them." What a powerful and meaningful quote in The War I Finally Won, the highly anticipated sequel to The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley..Ada's clubfoot has been fixed, but her relationship with Mam may never be. As the war around them continues, Ada, Jamie, and Susan are having to stay in Lady Thornton's cottage due to Susan's house being destroyed by the bombings. Things are getting a bit crowded in the house, when suddenly Ruth, a Jewish girl from Germany has come stay. Of course, Ada is assuming that Ruth must be a spy. But things are about to go from bad to worse, not just for the war, but for everyone in the house..Some sequels don't live up to the hype of their predecessors, but this one did and more! This historical fiction book is not only about the effects of war, but family, identity, trust, and forgiveness. Preorder this one now, read the first book again, and wait by your mailbox for it to arrive on October 3.
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