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The two end up in a small village at the home of a woman named Susan Smith. There is not necessarily anything extraordinary or unpredictable in this satisfying story in which the three become a close and loving family except for the telling itself, which reveals refreshing complexities of characters and situations. As Ada, Jamie, and Susan adjust, it becomes clear that Ada, despite many seemingly idyllic elements of her new life, feels immense anger and grief over a mother who could not love her. A nearby RAF airfield, the evacuation of Dunkirk, and the bombing of London all come into play in a story that also offers honesty regarding the hard truths of war but is ultimately full of the hope that comes with kindness and connection.

Images courtesy of publishers, organizations, and sometimes their Twitter handles. So when—with World War II imminent and bombs expected to fall on London—Jamie is slated to be evacuated to the countryside, Ada determines to escape the prison of her life and go with him. The plot at times stretches credulity—spunky Ada nabs a Nazi spy—but the emotional content feels completely true, especially in the recognition of how deeply Ada has been damaged and just how far her journey will be to both physical and mental health.

Tom rev. Accelerated Reader Level 4. Standard Correlations. Silver Meadows Summer by Emma Otheguy. Add to Cart. Lenny's Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee. Caterpillar Summer by Gillian McDunn.

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Other Related Titles. Fruit everywhere. Piled up on tables, like. And some like apples, but not quite. And round things that were orange and shiny, and some that were green--" "You've got to learn the names of them," I told him. Said he didn't need dirty beggars stealin' his fruit, and he ran me off with a broom. You're not a dirty beggar.

He put his hand inside his shirt and pulled out one of the not-quite-apples, lumpy and yellow and soft. It was a pear, though we didn't know it then. When we bit into it, juice ran down our chins. I'd never tasted anything so good. Jamie swiped a tomato the next day, but the day after that he got caught trying to take a chop from a butcher's shop.

The butcher walloped him, right on the street, and then marched him home to Mam and told her off. Mam snatched Jamie by the neck and walloped him herself. Stealin' sweets is one thing! What were you wanting with a chop? I was hungry. Walking was so much work, I was always hungry now. But it was the wrong thing to say, and Jamie knew it. I saw his eyes widen, afraid. I should have known! Worthless runt! I had been sitting on my chair.

Without thinking, I jumped up to dodge the blow. I was caught.

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I couldn't take a step, not without giving away my secret. But Mam stared at me with a glittering eye.


The pipe dripped sometimes, so the cabinet was always damp and smelly. Worse, roaches lived there. I didn't mind roaches out in the open so much. I could smash them with a piece of paper and throw their bodies out the window. In the cabinet, in the dark, I couldn't smash them. They swarmed all over me. Once one crawled into my ear.

She turned her slow smile toward Jamie. When things got really bad I could go away inside my head. I'd always known how to do it. I could be anywhere, on my chair or in the cabinet, and I wouldn't be able to see anything or hear anything or even feel anything. I would just be gone.

The War That Saved My Life

It was a good thing, but it didn't happen fast enough. The first few minutes in the cabinet were the worst. And then, later on, my body started hurting from being so cramped. I was bigger than I used to be. In the morning, when Mam let me out, I felt dazed and sick.

The War That Saved My Life

When I straightened, pain shot through me, cramping pains and pins and needles down my legs and arms. I lay on the floor. Mam looked down at me. I was getting stronger. She didn't like it. As soon as she went out I got to my feet, and I made myself walk all the way across the room. It was late August already. I knew it wouldn't be long before Jamie started school. I wasn't as afraid of Jamie leaving as I had been, but I was dreading being alone so much with Mam. But that day Jamie came home early, looking upset. Billy White was Stephen White's little brother, and Jamie's best friend.

Mam was getting ready for work.

She leaned over to tie her shoes, grunting as she sat back up. I hadn't decided whether to send you.

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Suppose I might. Cheaper, one less mouth to feed.