The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley follows the story of 12 year old Ada Smith after the events described in the preceding novel The War That Saved My Life. Ada had been told by her abusive biological mother that she was a cripple and would only be a cripple for the rest of her life. However at the end of the first book, Ada and her young brother Jamie are allowed to live with their loving guardian Susan Smith. Ada’s clubfoot is surgically repaired in the beginning of the book. Almost directly after the surgery, Ada learns her biological mother had been killed in a bombing at the factory in which she worked. She feels guilty for feeling no sorrow at the news. The feeling, however, vanishes as she, her brother, and Susan (now her legal guardian) move into a cottage belonging Lady Thorton, a person of high class. War brews inside the house when Lady Thornton heself also moves into the cottage. Suddenly things become even more tense in the household when Lord Thornton brings a German Jew, Ruth, to reside in the house as well. All eyes turn on Ruth as people try to interpert her true intentions to move into Britain.
This work of historical fiction gives the readers a chance to understand how people feel when loved ones are lost at war and how different people react to the arival of a German in the country of Britain at the time of one of the most horrific wars to confont the human race.
Ada has a marvelous character in the sense that she has suffered more than the average tween but is still a very easy character to relate to. However to fully understand her character, it is important to read the first book before picking up the sequel.
The book was powerful and will keep you up all night before you reach the end. However if you didn’t enjoy the first book, the second is probably not going to be on your reading list due to the many similarities. The book is for no one younger than nine due to the references to the terrible realities of war. In my opinion this was a book that I would read only once or twice. So instead of buying it I would just grab it off the library shelf for a quick and easy read.