cover image The War I Finally Won

The War I Finally Won

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. Dial, $16.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-525-42920-3

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. [em]Agent: Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown. (Oct.) [/em]