ALLen Reads 2018

Main Book

The War That Saved My Life

by Kimbery Brubaker Bradley

A Newbery Award winner for 2016. The historical details, character development, tight plot, and rich layered themes make this firecracker sizzle. Ten-year-old Ada has a clubfoot and is kept locked in her family’s one bedroom apartment while her six-year-old brother, Jamie, roams free in London, England. Mam hits her two children and punishes Ada by locking her in the cabinet under the sink. World War II is about to happen, and parents are sending children to the countryside for safety. The ironic title of this book refers not only to the physical war, but the internal and daily battles faced by the characters. War is about death and destruction, not saving; however, there are times when “some things are worth fighting for.” Most people didn’t want to go to war and avoided it until it became necessary. For Ada, “There are all kinds of wars.” The author keeps building on various themes and advances the plot pointing to those themes.


Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley





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Companion Books

Diana’s White House Garden

by Elisa Carbone

Diana Hopkins lived in a white house. THE White House. World War II is in full force across the seas. It is 1943, President Roosevelt is in office, and Diana’s father, Harry Hopkins, is his chief advisor. And Diana wants to be part of the war effort. After some well-intentioned missteps (her quarantine sign on her father’s office door was not well-received), the President requests her help with his newest plan for the country’s survival: Victory Gardens!
From award-winning author Elisa Carbone comes the true story of how Diana Hopkins started her own Victory Garden on the White House lawn under the tutelage of Eleanor Roosevelt. With dedication and patience, she showed the nation that the war effort started first on the home front.

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman

by MIchelle Edwards

Mrs. Goldman always knits hats for everyone in the neighborhood, and Sophia, who thinks knitting is too hard, A Hat for Mrs. Goldmanhelps by making the pom-poms. But now winter is here, and Mrs. Goldman herself doesn’t have a hat—she’s too busy making hats for everyone else! It’s up to Sophia to buckle down and

knit a hat for Mrs. Goldman. But try as Sophia might, the hat turns out lumpy, the stitches aren’t even, and there are holes where there shouldn’t be holes. Sophia is devastated until she gets an idea that will make Mrs. Goldman’s hat the most wonderful of all. Readers both young and old will relate to Sophia’s frustrations, as well as her delight in making something special for someone she loves.