Hardcover, 316 pages
Published January 8th 2015 by Dial Books
A Wall Street Journal's Best Children's Book of 2015
An exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War 2, from the acclaimed author of Jefferson’s Sons and for fans of Number the Stars. Nine-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 of 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? This masterful work of historical fiction is equal parts adventure and a moving tale of family and identity—a classic in the making.
Sometimes being placed into a new setting can be the worst thing in the world- or so it seems. Especially when you are young, there is a war surrounding you, you are different from everyone else because of something you have no control over, and your mother seems to not care about you. For Ada, the best thing that ever happened was when she and her brother were sent to live with Susan Smith.
There are parts of war that we either don't think of or don't even have a knowledge of, and I have to say that this novel opened my eyes to yet another side of a war that I constantly find myself drawn to in reading and research- World War 2. I loved this story from start to finish. Ada is one of those characters that you fall in love with and root for throughout the entire book. I found myself gasping in parts, getting angry with her mother in other parts, laughing at the antics and lessons Ada had to learn (and her stubbornness- because I can completely relate) and in tears during other parts. It is well deserving of its Newbery Honor.
History teachers this is definitely one that you should have in your library and would make a great Read Aloud while you are teaching this time period in history. This book deserves a place on every book shelf from elementary school to high school!