11 Apr / The War I Finally Won [The War Series, Book 2] by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley [in School Library Journal]
Continuing the story begun in Kimberly Brubaker Bradley’s 2016 Newbery Honor book, The War That Saved My Life , World War II rages on, and Ada is now 11. She has escaped London and her abusive mother and finally has the surgery to reverse her club foot. Then Mam’s death is confirmed, leaving Ada and brother Jamie as orphans. Haunted by her horrific past, Ada can’t trust that their nurturing guardian, Susan, already has plans to protect her two charges permanently.
Under Lady Thorton’s largesse, Susan and the siblings settle into a cottage on the Thorton estate. As the war encroaches on their daily lives, new residents move into the cottage, including Lady Thorton when the government takes over Thorton House. Most surprisingly, Lord Thornton installs a presumed enemy, German teenager Ruth, into the crowded abode. Ada (and all the children) will confront war’s tragedies—most notably separation, both temporary and permanent.
Effortlessly adapting her voice to age, class, gender, and cultural background, British-born narrator Jayne Entwistle embodies Bradley’s characters with energy and aplomb.
Verdict: Bradley’s previously awarded success means young audiences should be clamoring for this laudable sequel.
Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult