Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Publisher: Dial Books
Nine-year-old Ada has never left her small apartment in the middle of London. Born with a club foot, her mother is too ashamed to ever allow her out in public. When World War One begins and London is deemed unsafe for children, Ada sneaks out with her younger brother, Jamie, when he is shipped to the countryside to live with a foster family until London is safe again. When they get there, they meet Susan, a woman who has never been married and has no kids of her own. Although she’s hesitant at first, she quickly begins to love Jamie and Ada and takes care of them in a way they’ve never known before. Ada learns to walk and read and begins to grow more confident every day.
This book is so beautifully written. It really captures the emotions and the personalities of the characters. The characters are well-developed and progress through out the story. Ada is verbally and physically abused by her mother, which may be sensitive and difficult for some people to read. However, the transformation that takes place in Ada’s life is beautiful and well-written. She teaches herself how to walk, how to read, how to ride a horse, and completely transforms into a confident, healthy girl. The setting is historically accurate and is explained in rich detail. This is a great book for children and adults and would work great in a classroom or at home to aid in teaching about the first World War.
* Contains mild violence.