Bradley deftly captures the voice of 10 year old Ada, caught between an abusive mother and a reluctant War-time guardian. Raised in abject poverty by a stern and unloving mother, Ada and her brother Jamie escape when London's children are sent to the country to avoid Hitler's bombs. They discover a new and surprising world in their new home in a small village in Kent, but when Susan Smith reluctantly takes them in, the children still feel unwanted. As the war-time pressures increase and they explore life beyond the slums of London, Ada can't help but wonder why Mam doesn't come for them, or if she really wants her to. Bradley captures Ada's emotions and anxieties with impressive accuracy and quickly has you pulling for her young heroine.