The War That Saved My Life was one of my favorite books! This story was about a girl named Ada and a boy named Jamie who lived during WW2.
This is a story about perseverance. Ada has a club foot, but that doesn’t stop her from wanting to do many things. She is very independent and perseveres. For example, even though she always fell off the horse when learning to ride, she’d always get back on. This is also a story about love. Ms. Smith ends up caring for both kids during the war and showing them how much they are loved.
Here is a short summary of some of the main parts of the story:
Ada is a cripple, and her mom doesn’t like her. Her mom hits her and never lets her go outside.
But since the war is going on, a lot of parents are sending their children out of London. Ada and Jamie snuck out in the morning because their Mam was not going to let Ada leave. They got on a train and headed out to the country. It was a hot train and long trip. They saw a girl riding a horse, and Ada noted that she’d like to do that some day.
When they finally arrive, they go to the bathroom. She sees an ugly girl looking back at her and realized that it’s her own reflection!
Nobody wants her or Jamie, and they’re the last children left. So, Ms. Thornton, the administrator takes them in her car and takes them to Ms. Smith’s house and drops them off. Ms. Smith doesn’t really want them, but she has to take them. She has a very nice house and is pretty rich.
Ms. Smith takes them into town to get groceries and wanted them to get ID’s. They didn’t even know when they were born. They made up birthdays. They also get check-ups from the doctor, and they get Ada some crutches. When they get home, Ada sees a beautiful pony named Butter who used to be Becky’s horse (Ms. Smith’s best friend who had passed away.)
One day when she’s practicing riding Butter, she sees Margaret. She has a nice horse and is very rich. Margaret falls off her horse, so Ada brings her home and meets a guy who works in the stables for her, Mr. Grimes. He tells her that she can come over anytime and he’ll answer any questions about horses.
Ada goes up on a hill and always checks for spies. She sees a little rowboat with a guy getting off. Maybe that’s a spy. She goes down and looks. He buries his suitcase. She goes to the police. The guy thinks she is making it up.
“My foot is a long way from my brain,” she tells him, because he questions her.
She asked another policeman to come and talk to her. They go out in the squad car, and Ada thinks she sees the guy, and so they stop him and ask for his ID. He has a perfect regular accent, but they find that he has sand on his jeans/pants and they are wet. And since there’s a barbed wire blocking people to the beach, no one should really be hanging out there. They take him away. Ada tells the police about the suitcase. The next day, the policeman who hadn’t believed her came to her door and apologized – the man was a spy. They will use the confiscated radio to tell the other country lies.
Ada becomes a hero!
A few years later, Ada’s Mam comes to find them and is mad because the kids left her and she has to pay a certain amount for them. She tells them that they have to come with her. Ms. Smith tries to convince Mam to let them stay, but is not able to.
They go back to London, and Ada worries about the bombs. Mam tells her that there won’t be any. But they go to the house, and in the morning Mam takes Ada’s crutches and shoes, which is mean, and says she can only stay in the apartment again.
The next night when Ada talks to her at dinner, she asks, “If you never had to pay for us, would you let us go back to Ms. Smiths.” Mam doesn’t really answer but just goes to the pub.
That night there actually is a bombing. The kids don’t know where the bomb shelter is. Ada has to go really slow because she doesn’t have her crutches or shoes. A bomb hits close to them. They find a shelter, and they’re ok. And once it’s over, her hearing starts coming back. They come out, and see Ms. Smith who was probably there looking for them!
They go back to the country with her, and that’s the end. A happy ending!