Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

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Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

Written By: Eleanor Coerr

Illustrate by:  Ronald Himler

Pages:  80

Lexile Measure: 630L

Scholastic Reading Level: 5.2

Summary (written by Grace):

Sadako is a student who lived ten years after the Atom Bomb drop in Japan. She still believed in traditions and wanted to live, but leukemia from the atom bomb killed her.  She died in 1955 when she was 12. Because of her courage, her friends made a book about her.

Marie’s Review (Mom):

A good but sad story! I am attempting to slowly introduce good literature to the girls that is a little more representative of real life. And the sad truth of this book – it’s true! I don’t believe in constant immersion in morose stories, but I think a good sprinkling of books that aren’t always hunky-dory is healthy. This book fit the bill for what we needed. It was short, well written and to the point, and made the reader feel without dragging on and on.

It also opened up good questions. Why did we drop the bombs? Did it save more lives than it took? Was the second bomb necessary? Was there another way? How would Sadako’s story have been different if she knew Christ? Questions with no easy answers.

I admit, I teared up at the end. Am I glad we read it? Yes. Would I read it again? No. Will I make Little May read it? Probably.

Grace’s Review (4th Grade):  

Okay, I didn’t really care for it. The word die-ing is, is scary to say.

Lainey’s Review:

I liked how she made the cranes, and then at the end they helped her finish it. That made me feel good.

Christian Friendly:

Yes- Although it’s not a Christian book. Sadako was not a Christian. It’s not offensive though and gives insight to another culture and religion.

Sensitive Readers:   Caution

Obviously, Sadako dies. It’s sad. It’s unfair. She and her family suffered. We discussed the story along the way. Grace was visibly upset and teared up too. Lainey was unfazed.


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