An exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds, set during World War II.
Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room flat. 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 for Ada, and for Miss Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take in the two children. 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 is a very powerful novel that shows us the very worst and the very best of people.
Ada and her brother Jamie live in a small flat with their abusive mother. It is Ada who most feels the burden of her brutality, having been born with a crippled foot that her mother refuses to accept. She is extremely cruel and you feel for Ada the minute you start reading this story.
When the children of London are to be evacuated to the countryside due to the war, Ada sees this as their chance to escape. She shows enormous courage in doing so, although she feels like she has no other option.
Ada and her brother find themselves living with Miss Susan Smith. At first she is reluctant to have them, but she soon realises that she needs them as much as they need her. Ada is determined not to get too close and to push her away. She doesn’t want to get used to having a warm bed, food to eat and to not being abused, as she knows one day she will likely end up back with her mother. But Miss
Smith is as persistent as Ada...
This is a wonderful and well written story of the internal and external struggles that we can all face. All students from junior secondary and up will find this one appealing.
Reviewed by Sam