Saturday, March 10, 2018

The War I Finally Won

Slow reviewing around here...I'm reading, but mostly board books and parenting books. Still, when I saw the sequel to The War That Saved My Life, I knew I would be devoting nap times to some amazing middle grades lit, rather than washing dishes!

The first book wrapped up happily and neatly, so I was surprised to see this sequel on the shelves at the library. While Ada and her brother were taken in by Susan at the end of the first book, the war continued and recovering from the emotional damage inflicted by their cruel mother continued. Ada's reaction to kindness is an interesting one to discuss with students.

Ada's ignorance is more noticeable in this novel; there are times when she misunderstands a word and frets about nothing for a few chapters. I wonder if the intention was for young readers to worry, as well, or if they should feel pity for Ada not knowing what funeral arrangements are. She is given a dictionary and spends a fair amount of time sharing definitions, which is never a popular plot device.

Still, despite these quibbles, I enjoyed The War I Finally Won. The characters are memorably complex and it's an excellent introduction to historical fiction for young readers.

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