NONFICTION

The Complete Story of Sadako Sasaki: and the Thousand Paper Cranes

Tuttle. Apr. 2020. 148p. pap. $10.99. ISBN 9784805316177.
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Gr 4-6–Sasaki, a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, and DiCicco, founder of The Peace Crane Project, have produced a moving account of the life and death of Sasaki’s sister, Sadako Sasaki. Only two-years-old when the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Sadako did not begin to develop physical symptoms related to the event until she was in sixth grade. Once Sadako began to display symptoms of leukemia in 1955, the illness quickly hospitalized her and she died eight months after her diagnosis. Sadako’s father taught her the legend of the paper cranes during the final months of her life. The legend requires at least 1,000 paper cranes to be folded to earn a wish. Sadako folded many more than the minimum. Even when it became clear that her wish for good health was not going to be granted, she continued to fold paper cranes. After her death, the paper crane became a symbol of Sadako and her dream of universal peace and hope. Many students may be familiar with Sadako’s story from the popular children’s book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr.
VERDICT This loving memoir written by a devoted family member offers a unique perspective of the aftermath of the atomic bombings in Japan in 1945. For those who enjoyed Caren Stelson’s Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story and Steve Sheinkin’s Bomb: The Race To Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon.

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