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Islington Branch Book Club - Past Titles: "The War That Saved My Life" by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Take a look through previous titles we've discussed at our Islington Branch Book Club

"The War That Saved My Life" by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

  1. Identity and Self-Worth: How does Ada's physical disability impact her sense of self-worth and identity? How does her journey throughout the novel contribute to her understanding of herself?

  2. Family Dynamics: Analyze the relationships within Ada's foster family, particularly her bond with Susan. How do these relationships evolve over the course of the story? What role do they play in Ada's growth and healing?

  3. Resilience and Survival: Discuss Ada's resilience in the face of adversity, including her abusive past and the challenges of wartime. How does she demonstrate strength and courage throughout the novel?

  4. Themes of Love and Belonging: Explore the theme of love and belonging as depicted in the novel. How do Ada and Jamie find a sense of belonging in their new family and community? What does this sense of belonging mean to them?

  5. War and Its Effects: Examine the impact of World War II on the characters and their lives. How does the war shape their experiences and relationships? In what ways do they cope with the uncertainty and fear brought about by the war?

  6. Character Development: Trace the character development of Ada, Jamie, and Susan throughout the novel. How do they change and grow as individuals? What pivotal moments contribute to their development?

  7. Friendship and Support: Discuss the importance of friendship and support in the novel, particularly Ada's friendship with Maggie and Stephen. How do these relationships provide comfort and strength to Ada during difficult times?

  8. Themes of Freedom and Independence: Explore the theme of freedom and independence as Ada learns to navigate her new life outside of her abusive home. How does she discover her own agency and independence?

  9. Historical Context: How does the historical setting of World War II contribute to the overall narrative? In what ways does the author effectively incorporate historical details into the story?

  10. Closure and Healing: Reflect on the novel's ending and Ada's journey towards healing. How does the resolution of the story provide closure for Ada and the other characters? What lessons can be learned from Ada's journey?

Early Life and Education: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley was born on June 24, 1967, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States. She developed a passion for reading and writing from a young age and often found solace in books during her childhood.

Brubaker Bradley attended Smith College in Massachusetts, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in French with a minor in Russian. She later pursued graduate studies in World War II history at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.

Literary Career: Brubaker Bradley began her writing career by publishing articles and short stories in various literary magazines. In 1998, she published her first novel, "Ruthie's Gift," which was followed by several more novels for children and young adults.

One of Brubaker Bradley's most acclaimed works is "The War That Saved My Life," published in 2015. The novel, set during World War II, received widespread critical acclaim and won numerous awards, including the Newbery Honor, the Schneider Family Book Award, and the Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production.

In addition to "The War That Saved My Life," Brubaker Bradley has written several other highly praised novels, including "Jefferson's Sons," "For Freedom: The Story of a French Spy," and "The War I Finally Won," the sequel to "The War That Saved My Life."

Themes and Style: Brubaker Bradley's novels often explore themes of resilience, family, identity, and the impact of historical events on ordinary lives. Her writing style is known for its emotional depth, vivid characterization, and meticulous attention to historical detail.

Personal Life: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley lives in Bristol, Tennessee, with her husband and two children. She continues to write novels for children and young adults, drawing inspiration from history, literature, and her own experiences.

Legacy: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley is widely regarded as a talented and influential author in the realm of children's and young adult literature. Her books have touched the lives of readers around the world and have earned numerous awards and accolades for their literary merit and emotional impact. Through her storytelling, Brubaker Bradley continues to inspire empathy, understanding, and a love of reading in readers of all ages.


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