Parent reviews for The War That Saved My Life

Common Sense says

Abused girl finds courage, family in compelling WWII story.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 35 reviews
Parent of a 11-year-old Written bymatthew Y May 25, 2015

YASS. THIS IS ON FLEEK

This is a great book that will grasp the intrests of many children and kids alike. it is very realistic and seriously reflects on the dangers and fear of living in world war II

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written bystalfo May 6, 2015

A fantastic book, but one thing to note that the reviewer failed to mention

The reviewer did a great job describing the book and I agreed with much of her thoughts about the book. In regards to language, though, she failed to mention that an adult calls another adult "a lazy slut" (there's nothing sexual in this book at all so it's an odd reference). It doesn't bother me but I think it's important to note as some parents might not want to be defining the word "slut" to their 8 or 9 year old!

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 9-year-old Written byGabby L. January 12, 2018

Amazing Book!!!

I absolutely loved reading this book with my fourth grade daughter. We both fell in love with the character of Ada and loved watching her change throughout the story. I felt compelled to write this review, also, because I felt many other reviews listed were misleading. The hint at homosexuality is very subtle and if you are a parent concerned that your child will pick up on it- I assure you they will not. The one character is very sad her friend died—— but there is no mention of sexuality at all! I think some reviewers took their comments a bit too far. I loved this book and highly recommend it for upper elementary and middle school children. A+!!!

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Written byAnonymous August 28, 2019

Only Book My 8 year old would read!!

This summer, I wanted my 8 year old to start reading. She disliked all the books that I gave her to read till we found this one. She finished it in about two weeks and she loved it. The only thing, I think parents should know about this book is that the mother abuses her children at the beginning of the story.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 10-year-old Written byapcrcom November 2, 2018

insight into life in ww II, particularly on notions of physical disability

The protagonist in the story has a deformed foot, and the book centers around how that was thought of by her mother at the time. Although probably exceptional, there are insights here into some attitudes that are thankfully long gone in modern cultures. The evacuation of children from London during WWII is educational, and prompted some discussion about the conflict with Germany, and the bombings. The main relational narrative is of a single woman in the countryside - who never wanted kids - taking the two waifs in and all of them discovering that they formed an unconventional and loving new family.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Parent Written byAlana D. August 7, 2018

Compelling story but disturbing scenes and suggestion of homosexual relationship may not be appropriate for elementary kids

I just read this book at the recommendation of a friend who's children read it in school. It is a compelling read, but there are many scenes of child abuse and Ada reliving the trauma of her past. I would not recommend for elementary aged kids at all, especially sensitive ones. It is pretty intense - some of the war scenes are as well. I felt like there were many clues suggesting Susan was lesbian. She lived with her "friend" Becky, who died a few years before Ada and Jamie arrive. Susan still grieve pretty deeply, she inherited all of Becky's property and land, she mentions that to her father (a vicar) she is "unredeemable," she claims she and the church don't get along, she insists she never wanted to get married, and she has been isolated from the townspeople until Ada comes. It isn't blatant, but enough comments early on led me to believe that was the author's implication. I did like Ada's growth and healing - that part is beautiful. But recommend parents pre-reading before handing to their kids to see if appropriate.
Parent of a 11-year-old Written byBinge W. August 4, 2018

WWI story his heart, some violence and teaches you about the war experience of civilians

Really there’s nothing too bad in this. For starters the book talks about that there are some blood in it and mam abuses her child Ada. Plus there is some language including a use of bloody and a use of r****d

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byksmerke August 3, 2018

Fabulous book, contains war violence

I am very surprised that another reader was concerned about the "implied homosexuality" in this novel. My 9 yr old, who has an aunt who is a lesbian, had no idea that there was any implied homosexuality in this book. This should not be a reason to not include this fabulous piece of historical fiction in a classroom.
The concerning parts of this novel for me are issues of extreme parental cruelty and the violence of war. I'd suggest prereading it, if you have sensitive readers. The audiobook is fantastic as well, so, for younger readers, I'd suggest listening to it as a family.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Adult Written byA M. June 7, 2018

Addictive story.

I read this in 7th grade last year and I think it’s such a great book, I’m pretty bad at choosing books I enjoy to read in my own time. My amazing language arts teacher made our class read this and we’d have to pause at certain pages so we could all be at the same place each week. I never wanted to put the book down though! This book really captures your attention and is super interesting, I love how all the characters are unique and how emotional it’ll make you, I loved this book so much that I got the sequel the next year (for my own enjoyment) and I absolutely love it as much as the first one. Ada is such a great character and you feel proud when she opens up or has little accomplishments. The author also does a great job at setting the scene and mood, as a 14 year old I would definitely recommend this book for other kids my age and younger. The book does have hints that Susan Smith (Adas caretaker) is lesbian and her girlfriend died so she is grieving, I would say that its great to have this in the book because it’s not explicit, it went straight over my head when I read the first book but in the second book I started to put it together. I don’t know why some reviews are saying it’s not good for young readers because of this, I know homophobes exist but we shouldn’t shield children from the LGBT community or alienate the LGBT community. It’s a great book regardless of Susans sexuality. Definitely reccomend - :))

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 7 and 9-year-old Written byAmber S. June 4, 2018

My daughter loved this book

This is likely the book my daughter would rate her very favorite over all others, but the sequel was a close 2nd for her. She loved this book and really related to the characters. She liked the detail the author provided, allowing her to really escape into the story. The book is about war, but not in a violent way. I think it was a healthy way to expose her to the reality of war and real life beyond her regular days.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Adult Written bySally S March 30, 2017

I wouldn't read it with my class...

While I, personally, am enjoyed this story, I would never read it with my students. The allusions to homosexuality throughout the story would bring many complaints from parents, and I wouldn't want to be taken to the school board for presenting this book to students. Yes, homosexuality is much more mainstream today, but I would not feel comfortable reading a book that promotes it to my fifth graders.

However, that aside, I really enjoyed reading about Ada's struggles and accomplishments. Her perspective was incredibly well-written and insightful. I've worked with students from similar (although not as severe) backgrounds, and Ada's reactions are spot on and realistic. It takes an incredibly long time for a child who has been abused and neglected to learn to be cared for and loved.

Overall, I was glad to share this book with my 11 year old niece, but I would be hesitant to share it with a classroom full of students.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Parent of a 7 and 9-year-old Written byXimena A. October 30, 2016
I read this book for my girls and it's a book that give you the opportunity to talk about history and how people live that time. It was touching because Ada learned to be stronger and fight her own battles. Really beautiful

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Adult Written byteachna June 5, 2016

Review

Something else that was not mentioned in the summary of this book is that there is a touch of lesbianism in the plot. Though mild and it may be missed by some young readers, it is in there. Some parents may be uncomfortable with this in children's literature.