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The War I Finally Won
Cover of The War I Finally Won
The War I Finally Won
A New York Times bestsellerLike the classic heroines of Sarah, Plain and Tall, Little Women, and Anne of Green Gables, Ada is a fighter for the ages. Her triumphant World War II journey continues in...
A New York Times bestsellerLike the classic heroines of Sarah, Plain and Tall, Little Women, and Anne of Green Gables, Ada is a fighter for the ages. Her triumphant World War II journey continues in...
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  • A New York Times bestseller
    Like the classic heroines of Sarah, Plain and Tall, Little Women, and Anne of Green Gables, Ada is a fighter for the ages. Her triumphant World War II journey continues in this sequel to the Newbery Honor–winning The War that Saved My Life

    When Ada's clubfoot is surgically fixed at last, she knows for certain that she's not what her mother said she was—damaged, deranged, crippled mentally as well as physically. She's not a daughter anymore, either. Who is she now?

    World War II rages on, and Ada and her brother, Jamie, move with their guardian, Susan, into a cottage with the iron-faced Lady Thorton and her daughter, Maggie. Life in the crowded home is tense. Then Ruth moves in. Ruth, a Jewish girl, from Germany. A German? Could Ruth be a spy?
    As the fallout from war intensifies, calamity creeps closer, and life during wartime grows even more complicated. Who will Ada decide to be? How can she keep fighting? And who will she struggle to save?

    Ada's first story, The War that Saved My Life, was a #1 New York Times bestseller and won a Newbery Honor, the Schneider Family Book Award, and the Josette Frank Award, in addition to appearing on multiple best-of-the-year lists. This second masterwork of historical fiction continues Ada's journey of family, faith, and identity, showing us that real freedom is not just the ability to choose, but the courage to make the right choice.

    "Honest . . . Daring."
    The New York Times
    The Washington Post
    ★ "Ada is for the ages—as is this book. Wonderful."
    Kirkus, starred review
    ★ "Fans of the first book will love the sequel even more."SLJ, starred review
    ★ "Bradley sweeps us up . . . even as she moves us to tears."The Horn Book, starred review
    ★ "Perceptive . . . satisfying . . . will stay with readers."PW, starred review
    "Beautiful." —HuffPost



  • From the cover

    Chapter 1

    You can know things all you like, but that doesn't mean you believe them.

    "Ada! You need to drink something!" Susan's voice, scolding. Susan's hands, pushing a cup of cold tea into mine.

    "I don't want to," I said. "Really I don't."

    Susan curled my fingers around the teacup. "I understand," she said, "but please try. It's the last thing they're going to let you have. You'll be thirsty in the morning."

    My right foot was twisted sideways at the ankle. It had been all my life. My ankle bones grew curled, so my toenails scraped the ground and what should have been the bottom of my foot faced the sky. Walking hurt like anything. Despite the calluses, the skin on my foot tore and bled.

    This night in the hospital—nearly three years ago now—was September 16, 1940. A Monday. It was a little over a year into the war between Hitler and most of the rest of the world. Eleven years into the war between the rest of the world and me.

    The very next day surgeons were going to chop my curled ankle bones up and rearrange them. Maybe into something like a functional foot.

    I put the teacup Susan gave me to my lips. I forced myself to sip. My throat closed. I choked. Tea splattered across the bedcovers and my tray.

    Susan sighed. She mopped up the spilled tea, then motioned for one of the nurses that was putting up the blackout to come take away my tray.

    Since the start of the war, we covered our windows with blackout screens every night, so that German bombers wouldn't be able to aim at our lights. My hospital wasn't in London, which was getting bombed every night right now, but that didn't mean it wouldn't be hit. You never could tell what Germans would do.

    "Letter for you, Mum," the nurse said, handing Susan an envelope as she scooped up the tray.

    "Delivered to the hospital? How odd." Susan opened it. "It's from Lady Thorton." She unfolded the letter inside. "She must have sent it before she got my note with the boardinghouse's address. Ada, are you quite sure you don't want something to eat? Toast?"

    I shook my head. The mouthful of tea I'd swallowed swirled in my stomach. "I think I'm going to be sick."

    Susan gasped. She looked up at me, snatched a basin from the bottom shelf of my bedside table, and thrust it beneath my chin. I clenched my teeth and held everything in.

    Susan's hand shook. The basin shook too. I looked at her face. She'd gone pale, her eyes dark and wide.

    "What's wrong?" I asked. "What does that letter say?"

    "Nothing," she said. "Breathe deep. That's it." She put the basin down, folded Lady Thorton's letter, and tucked it into her handbag.

    Something was wrong. I could see it on her face. "Is it Butter?" I asked.


    "Has something happened to Butter?" Butter was Susan's pony. I loved him. He was staying in Lady Thorton's stables while I was in hospital.

    "Oh," Susan said. "No. That is, Lady Thorton didn't mention Butter, but she would have if anything were wrong."

    "Maggie?" Maggie was Lady Thorton's daughter, my best friend.

    "Maggie's fine," Susan said. Her hands still shook very slightly. Her eyes didn't look right. "Everyone's fine in the village."

    "And Jamie's fine," I said. It was a statement, not a question, because it had to be true. My brother Jamie wasn't in the village—he was here with us. Susan and Jamie and Bovril, Jamie's cat, were staying in a rented room in a boardinghouse near the hospital. Jamie was there with the landlady now.

    Jamie was six years old. We'd guessed he was seven, but we had his birth certificate now and he wasn't, not quite.

    I was eleven. I had my birth...

About the Author-

  • Kimberly Brubaker Bradley lives on a forty-two-acre farm in Bristol, Tennessee. She is the author of several books for children, including Leap of Faith, Jefferson's Sons, the New York Times bestselling The War I Finally Won, and the #1 New York Times bestselling, Newbery Honor book The War that Saved My Life.


  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 28, 2017
    Bradley picks up directly after the events of her Newbery Honor–winning The War That Saved My Life, which introduced tenacious Ada who—after years of mistreatment from her mother because of her club foot—summoned the determination to carve out a better life for herself amid the onset of WWII. The war affects 11-year-old Ada more directly now, as she, her younger brother, and their guardian Susan reunite with the prim Lady Thorton, her daughter Maggie, and their family, and Ada undergoes a surgery that allows her better use of her foot. These familiar characters are joined by Ruth, a 16-year-old Jewish German refugee, who has been separated from her family, including a grandmother detained in a concentration camp. Ada and Ruth’s interactions, which begin warily and flourish into sisterhood and trust, portray a perceptive look into othering; it’s Ada who first sees Ruth is more than her German heritage. Bradley sensitively portrays Ada’s journey to accept selfless kindness and love after years of neglect in a poignant and satisfying story of found family that will stay with readers. Ages 9–12. Agent: Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown.

  • AudioFile Magazine Jayne Entwistle narrated Bradley's earlier book, THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE. Her narration of the sequel cements the books' connection. Entwistle recognizes the characters' complexities, particularly Ada's. Ada, the heroine, has survived living with a clubfoot and her Mam's cruelty--now comes her healing. Entwistle gives a layered portrayal of Ada's strength and distrust, showing her need for intellectual and emotional growth. Fortunately, Ada is now surrounded by characters who care about her in rural England. Each is complex, and all face emotional struggles as WWII continues. Entwistle presents their subtleties, and Ada's dawning perceptions of them. Gradually and believably, Entwistle shows Ada's courage as she takes risks that broaden her experiences and elicit her compassion. The poignancy of the story is stunning, as are the author's wit and eloquence. Entwistle captures both. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award � AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine

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