The War I Finally Won

The War I Finally Won

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Eleven-year-old Ada picks up her story shortly after The War That Saved My Life left off. She's in the hospital, nervously awaiting the surgery that will fix her club foot, when Susan receives a letter from Lady Thornton that obviously upsets her. Turns out, Ada's mother was killed in a bombing. Ada does not know how to feel about that, but, ever practical, she worries about where that leaves her and brother Jamie now that they are war orphans instead of child evacuees. Despite Susan's assurances that the three of them are family now, Ada remains prickly and irritable, particularly when Jamie falls easily into calling Susan "Mum." The three move into a cottage on the Thornton estate and are soon joined by Lady Thornton when the big house is needed for the war effort. Ada is leery of Lady Thornton, but living in close quarters brings out the best and worst in everyone, especially when Lord Thornton arrives with a German Jewish girl named Ruth whom he wishes Susan to tutor. Ada's unique voice helps evoke the novel's vivid setting and numerous complex characters. There is destitution but plenty of humor. There is also plenty of heartbreak and loss, so readers will want to keep a box of tissues handy. VERDICT Fans of the first book will love the sequel even more; truly a first purchase. While it stands alone, encourage readers to read both books to fully appreciate Ada's remarkable and wholly believable triumph.—Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ

A New York Times bestseller
A Washington Post
 Best Book of the Year
A Boston Globe Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Best Book of the Year
A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book of the Year
A Southern Living Best Book of the Year
A BookPage Best Book of the Year
An Indie Next List selection
A CCBC Choices book


"Stunning . . . By turns tough and tender, this novel leavens complex themes with moments of wonder and joy." —The Washington Post

"Rarely is a children’s book so honest . . . [and] daring. But there is comfort too, in Ada’s desire to love and grow. . . . The power of this book is that it describes, slowly and sometimes painfully, that it is possible not just to live through pain, but to live with it.” —The New York Times

★ "Thoughtful, brave, true, and wise beyond her years, Ada is for the ages—as is this book. Wonderful." —Kirkus, starred review

"It’s rare when a sequel is just as beautifully written and just as touching (maybe even more so) than the first book. . . . Bradley writes the story in such a way that the reader is by turns both touched and then, pages later, heartbroken. Over and over.” —HuffPost

★ "Fans of the first book will love the sequel even more; truly a first purchase. While it stands alone, encourage readers to read both books to fully appreciate Ada’s remarkable and wholly believable triumph." —School Library Journal, starred review

"Harrowing and heartening." —San Francisco Chronicle

★ "Bradley sweeps us up in the story she’s telling and at the same time raises hard questions and makes us think—even as she moves us to tears." —The Horn Book, starred review

★ "A perceptive look into othering . . . Bradley sensitively portrays Ada’s journey to accept selfless kindness and love after years of neglect in a poignant and satisfying story of found family that will stay with readers." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Ada . . . is one of the most unforgettable characters in modern children’s literature." —The Washington Post

"In a hard times, complicated people do the best they can. That’s what we see in this bittersweet moving story . . . (Be prepared for both tears and smiles with this one!)" —ImaginationSoup

"Ada’s story is a winning combination of history and healing, and fans may hope that Bradley isn’t quite finished with her just yet." —Booklist

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