Ideas for Learners Promoting Literacy, Inquiry, and Meaningful Learning Experiences
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr

Book Summary

Sadako is on her school's running team, and enjoys laughing with her friends in Hiroshima, Japan, in 1954.  It is not long before she discovers she is sick, like many others who were in Hiroshima after the atom bomb was dropped on the city.  In the hospital, Sadako begins folding origami paper cranes for good luck during her illness.

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes book cover
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

Book Review

This is a short book with accessible language for younger readers. Although the topic is serious, it is handled respectfully, and it is a good opportunity for some readers to tap into empathy for other young people struggling with illnesses, as well as a larger awareness of the consequences of nuclear weapons and war for innocent people, and to reflect about ways that societies engage in wars and pursue peace.
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With the golden crane nearby she felt safe and lucky. Why, in a few weeks she would be able to finish the thousand. Then she would be strong enough to go home."  p. 36

Topics and Themes for this book:

  • WWII
  • Leukemia; Effects of the Atom Bomb in Hiroshima
  • Life in 1950s Japan
  • Athletes; Running
  • Origami
  • Dedication to a Dream; Good Luck Rituals

Discussion Questions for this book:

The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.

**Questions coming soon**

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