Book Club: The War that Saved My Life

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Tonight is Girl Zone Book Club – a group I run for Year Six students and a significant woman in their life – mother, aunt, grandma, older sister, cousin, family friend…even a dad or uncle will do. This Book Club is an opportunity to talk, laugh and learn through a shared love of reading.

This book club runs much like an adult book club and focus books chosen are ‘crossover’ novels, ones which both adults and adolescents can enjoy. The book club is for students who adore reading and for those who do not and perhaps need a little nudge in the right direction. This is not an extra class for students, this is for the pure joy of recreational reading and to encourage reading as a social activity.

Book Clubs help us to…

Connect with others through a shared love of literature

Discuss the big ideas and messages in literature

Personally connect with a story or character

Tonight I spoke about a book that has been out for a couple of years, and has received much critical and popular acclaim. Now that the sequel has been released, it’s time to highlight it here, as a book that embraces diversity and compassion. ‘The War that Saved My Life‘ written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley originally published in 2015, was released locally last year by Text Publishing.

Click on title links or cover image to purchase.

Ten-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.

So begins a new adventure for Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?

The follow-up novel is called ‘The War I Finally Won‘, and it’s great to see that the cover matches because this is an important issue for a librarian!

World War II continues, and Ada and her brother Jamie are living with their loving legal guardian, Susan, in a borrowed cottage on the estate of the formidable Lady Thorton – now along with Lady Thorton herself and her daughter Maggie. Life in the crowded cottage is tense enough, and then, quite suddenly, Ruth, a Jewish girl from Germany, moves in. A German? The occupants of the house are horrified. But other impacts of war are far more intrusive and frightening. As death creeps closer to their door, life and morality during wartime grow more complex.

Support one of favourite local (and online) bookstores in Brisbane, ‘Where the Wild Things Are’/’Avid Reader’ by purchasing through the link below. If you are local to Brisbane you can order online and pick up in-store. 


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The titles of each book takes you to the Australian based online bookstore Booktopia. You can also compare prices on Fishpond and Bookworld for Australian purchases.If you live in the US or would prefer to use Amazon click here. If you live in the UK or would prefer to use Book Depository click here. Purchases clicked through from the Children’s Books Daily site result in a small commission. Commission is used in part to maintain Children’s Books Daily and to support community groups which connect children with books.

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