A Sequel Equal to the Original Book

It isn’t often that I find a sequel equal to the original book.  In fact, I rarely read the second book in a series because of time constraints.  But boy am I glad I took a chance on this second book in the series because it blew me away.  I loved The War That Saved My Life and was I surprised that this book held its own admirably against the Newbery Honor book and could very well be sporting a shiny sticker of its own one day.

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Title: The War I Finally Wonsequel equal to the original the war I finally won

Author: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Target: Grades 4-7

Series: This is the second book in a series

What this book is about:

Ada’s clubfoot has been corrected and she and her brother Jamie, along with their guardian Susan have moved into their neighbor’s cottage. Because WW II continues to rage on, her neighbor Lady Thornton and her daughter Maggie must also move into the cottage. Things start to get difficult when Lord Thornton brings a Jewish girl from Germany to live with them. No one has any idea what is happening to the Jews in Germany and the family is not too happy about having the “enemy” in their midst. Ada is continuing to discover who she is out from under her birth mother’s cruel tortuous ways and she struggles to make the right decisions.

Why I love this book:

  • I adored the first book, The War That Saved My Life, and this book was equally as wonderful. Ada is this incredible heroine who is flawed and broken but who loves fiercely and defends unconditionally. She struggles to accept love, feels undeserving, and the reader never stops rooting for her, even as she sabotages herself again and again.
  • It was so interesting seeing the war from a UK perspective. Ration books and blackout covers were something US families did not have to contend with on a daily basis. It was also fascinating to learn how little citizens knew of the persecution of the Jews during the war as information slowly trickled out.
  • While Ada is such a nuanced character, the supporting characters are equally as well done. I love Susan, Ada’s guardian even more in this book and Lady Thornton provides the perfect foil as she alternates between villain and hero.

Who this book is for:

If your child read the first book then this one will be a hit. I was also reminded of Refugee when reading this book so if your child liked that one this series is a must-read. It is wonderful for kids who love historical fiction or some sad in their stories. I would definitely start with the first book.

Final thoughts:

I never expected, nor did I think I needed a second book. But I loved learning more about Ada’s journey and I am so glad more of her life was revealed.

To purchase this book:

Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The War I Finally Won.  A portion of each purchase will go back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.