Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, by Eleanor CoerrPosted: May 4, 2011
Plot/Content: Sadako loves to run. Fast. Her father once asks her mother, “`…Did you ever see her walk when she could run, hop, or jump?’ There was pride in his voice because Sadako was a such a strong, fast runner.” Sadako trains hard to become the fastest runner she can be. She approaches life with a zeal and joy that make all those around her smile. Sadako was a baby in the city of Hiroshima during World War II, when the United States Air Force dropped an atom bomb on the city. She had seen many people in her city become ill with leukemia, what many call “atom bomb disease.” When Sadako starts having dizzy spells, she first keeps them secret, but when falls down while running, she can keep the secret no longer. In the hospital, ill with leukemia, Sadako’s best friend, Chizuko, brings her a paper crane and reminds her of the legend that if a person is ill and folds 1,000 cranes “the gods will grant her wish and make her healthy again.” So, Sadako sets her mind on folding 1,000 cranes with the same determination that she put into her running.
Review: Based on a true story, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is a moving, beautiful story of hope, love, and inner strength. Written in language accessible to younger tweens, this book is readable and appropriately simple, yet the concepts are deep and multifaceted. Delicately rendered black and white illustrations depict a few of the key scenes in the book. An epilogue tells the story of what happened after Sadako’s death. The book also includes instructions on how to fold an origami crane.
Genre(s): Realistic Fiction, Historical Fiction
Reading/Interest Level: 8-10 years
Available in: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audiobook
Similar Books: Kira-Kira, A Taste of Blackberries
Subjects: family, love, illness, World War II