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The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker…
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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
This sequel starts right up where book 1 left off; the 2 books make up 1 story. I think it keeps getting better and better. I do think it’s important to read book 1 before reading book 2.

I stayed up very late to finish reading. All the way through it was a hard book to put down. It’s a page-turner.

I’m considering adding it to my favorites shelf. It’s definitely a solid 5 star book for me. How often is a sequel even better than the first book?! Here it is, and I also gave the first book 5 stars.

It’s a masterfully and beautifully told story.

It has an incredibly appealing voice in the main character narrator Ada and a writing style that I love.

All the characters are brought vividly to life. The plot and its pacing is perfection.

I loved the newly introduced character Ruth and enjoyed the increased depth to many other characters, particularly the adults.

I continue to love Susan, a nearly perfect natural therapist and mother and appreciate how she’s shown as flawed and not actually perfect. I loved how one thing about her past was resolved.

Ada is a great character to root for and I did. This account shows a healing from trauma that is realistically shown, optimistic but not at all unrealistic.

The single page author’s note at the back talks about two aspects of WWII that were a bit cryptically woven into the story and was a welcome addition. It’s a must read additional page.

This book is intense but always stays appropriate for middle grade readers (and young adult readers) despite the sometimes heavy subject matter, including WWII and its causalities and the realities of civilian life during the war, the Holocaust, child abuse and neglect, traumatic loss, adult sexual and romantic relationships (far off the page), and other such things. It might not sound like a children’s book but it is, though unlike the first one I think it is also a young adult book, although it’s one that I think can be enjoyed by all ages. Both books are all ages appropriate and I think will appeal to some adults who don’t normally read books for younger readers.

Highly recommended for readers who enjoy any of the following: coming of age stories, stories about WWII especially as it impacted England and the Jews, horse lovers, cat lovers, family stories including atypical family stories, orphan stories, and stories where both child an adult characters grow and change in a realistic way.

I loved so many parts in this book. I found so many things meaningful. One fun and creative thing I thoroughly enjoyed (bottom half of page 294/second page in chapter 47 in the U.S. hardcover edition) was I loved how Ada realized the black outs did not have to be gloomy black on the inside and how the kids painted the insides to match how the outside of the house(s) looked without the black outs on, bringing nature/the outside/light back into the house and making the rooms look much more cheerful.

I’ve added some other books by this author to my to read shelf and hope to get to them. I’m a fan. ( )
  Lisa2013 | Feb 3, 2019 |
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?
  jhennessy627 | Jan 29, 2019 |
Lovely, honest story of evacuation of children from London in WWII. This second novel was as good as the first. I couldn't put it down. ( )
  EllenH | Dec 30, 2018 |
Ada can finally get surgery to correct the club foot she's had all her life! But she's still dealing with all kinds of mixed-up emotions from her mother's abuse, and can't quite trust anyone but herself.

I don't know why, but while I liked this story and thought Ada's emotions were an accurate portrayal of a kid who's gone through all sorts of trauma, it didn't have quite the charm of the first book for me. Maybe because I had expectations going in? We don't have the same arc of Ada learning how to ride and coming out of her shell. It's much more internal as she learns to deal with her feelings of anger and fear all the while with the war going on, and Lady Thorton and other guests coming to live with them while Lord Thorton is part of the war effort. Historical fiction set in World War 2 can be tricky in kids' books, but Bradley does a great job of referencing events that adults will understand the full implications of in a way that sensitive children could still handle. ( )
  bell7 | Dec 22, 2018 |
This is a perfect follow-up to The War That Saved My Life, and do be sure to read that one first.
Ada, the narrator, was severely abused for most of her childhood by her cruel and unloving mother, known as Mam. In The War That Saved My Life, Ada and her brother Jamie escape from Mam smuggling themselves out of London with children being evacuated in anticipation of German bombing at the start of World War II.
The War I Finally Won picks up where the first book left off. Ada gets surgery for her club foot, and can soon walk, albeit with a limp, and move about like other children. However, recovery from 10 years of abuse and neglect are much harder to recover from. Ada is different from most YA narrator protagonists, in that she is not wholly likeable. Her's is not a Harry Potteresque tale with a "see this poor abused child who we can all see is a perfectly lovely person who we would love to have for our best friend." No, Ada is far more realistic. A child who has been abused to the degree Ada was for so many years is not going to find it easy to trust or like anyone, and will herself be difficult to like. Kimberly Bradley does a magnificent job portraying Ada as realistic, and yet sympathetic to the reader, in spite of her difficulty loving and trusting anyone.
Ada makes great strides through the book, and so does the iron faced and iron willed Lady Thornton, who truly is a secondary main character in this volume. ( )
  fingerpost | Oct 7, 2018 |
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"As the frightening impact of World War II creeps closer and closer to her door, eleven-year-old Ada learns to manage life on the home front"--

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