The War That Saved My Life Summary & Study Guide

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
This Study Guide consists of approximately 85 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The War That Saved My Life.
This section contains 663 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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The War That Saved My Life Summary & Study Guide Description

The War That Saved My Life Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.

"The War That Saved My Life" by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley is told in first person from the perspective of it's ten-year-old protagonist, Ada Smith, as she recalls her time during WWII.

Born with a clubfoot and told by her mother she was a worthless cripple, Ada didn’t know what sort of life she was missing. When an order came to evacuate children from London into the English countryside Ada decided she would not let her brother go alone even though she’d lived her entire life locked in her family’s one-room apartment. In this uplifting story Ada learns that even with her handicap she is able to do anything to which she sets her mind. With the help of her guardian, Ada even learns that she is worthy of love and happiness.

Because she wanted to be able to go to her little brother Jamie if he needed her, Ada began teaching herself to walk when she learned he would be going to school. This skill became lifesaving when she learned the children of London were being evacuated to the country. Although her abusive mother hadn’t intended to send Ada away, Ada saw her chance to escape and left with Jamie early one morning before their mother woke. In the small village of Kent Ada and Jamie were passed over all of the residents who were supposed to take in evacuees because they were dirty. For this reason Lady Thorton, head of the village’s Women’s Volunteer Service, took the two to Susan Smith.

Before he and Ada went inside the house Jamie heard Miss Smith tell Lady Thorton that she didn’t want any children. Because Ada had seen a pony on the property she got the feeling that that was where they were supposed to live. After Lady Thorton left the children with Miss Smith, a lady she described as not being very nice, Miss Smith helped them bathe, fed them, gave them clean clothes, and cleaned and bandaged Ada’s bad foot. The next day she took them to a doctor who gave Ada crutches and told Miss Smith that with surgery Ada could walk more normally.

Ada and Jamie spent almost a year with Miss Smith. During this time Ada began to heal from the years of abuse she had suffered at her mother’s hands. She not only began to make friends but also began to help her guardian through her own depression. Additionally, Ada also helped care for the soldiers who were brought to Kent and even caught a spy trying to infiltrate into England through Kent.

Ada’s worst nightmare came true when her mother arrived to take Ada and Jamie home after the government sent her a letter telling her she needed to pay 19 shillings a week if they stayed in the country. At her mother’s apartment Ada’s mother told her she would stop walking and going out. The first night her mother stole Ada’s crutches and shoes while Ada slept. In the morning Ada confronted her mother. She got her to admit she didn’t want Ada and Jamie and would be happy if they left - she just didn’t want to have to pay for them. Ada told her mother they would be gone in the morning.

Ada planned to take Jamie and go back to Susan’s house but the city was bombed that night. When they came out of the bomb shelter that night they were surprised to see Susan walking through the rubble, looking for them. She took them back to Kent to discover that her house had been destroyed by a bomb. Villagers who were picking through the rubble told Susan and the children that the air raid sirens never went off. There were afraid Susan and the children were killed. Susan thanked Jamie and Ada for saving her life. Ada told her they were now even.

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This section contains 663 words
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