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Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes"

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, by Elanor Coerr, YR, 1977, 80p, rating=3.5  *SPOILER ALERT*

A wonderful and moving story of a young girl, Sadako, sickened with leukemia due to radiation effects of the atomic bomb dropped in Hiroshima, Japan in World War II.  Also relating the Japanese legend of folding 1,000 paper cranes to the gods for good health, which Sadako pursued.  She died before completing the thousand but her friends from the bamboo class completed the thousand in her honor and produced a compilation of her letters and journal to make a book they called Koheshi (where the author based this story) .  As her story became known, more friends were inspired to build a monument to honor her and all children who were killed by the atom bomb.  The monument was unveiled in 1958 which engraved a wish ... This is our cry, this is our prayer; peace in the world.

Sadako's story and symbol for peace is heartwarming (get your tissue box ready) but I don't think the author fully captured her story.  I was left saying ... "That's it?!".  I understand that this is a book for young readers but even then it wasn't personal enough.  It felt like the prologue and epilogue was the main attraction.  I sure would love to read Koheshi!!  ~By the way, there is a step-by-step guide of how to fold a paper crane at the end of the book.

On a personal note, this is a book I'm passing to my son who enjoyed making paper cranes along with his Cub Scout buddies for our local humanitarian group (who presented 1200 cranes to the museum for their exhibit. Their goal is to receive 92,785 peace cranes – one to represent each Japanese-American that was put in an internment camp during World War II).

I give the story 5 stars but the author's presentation a 2.5 stars, hence a total of 3.5 stars as a whole.  :)


  1. Aww! I remember I read this book in grade 3 and loved it. And it's a lot more significant since I know the story behind it.

  2. Very nice blog really impressive and sounds unique.. keep shared...
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