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Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes (Puffin Modern Classics) Paperback – April 12, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-6-The touching story of a terminally ill girl is recreated in this audio version of the book by Eleanor Coerr (Puffin, 1977). Based on the true story of a young Japanese girl who contracts leukemia as a result of the atom bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, the story follows Sadako as a healthy schoolgirl winning relay races, through her diagnosis with the atom bomb sickness, to her long stay in the hospital. It is in the hospital that she first begins making origami cranes to pass the time. Her ultimate goal is to make 1000, but she dies with only 644 completed. Sadako's classmates finish making the remaining cranes, and all 1000 are buried with her. Read by Christina Moore, the recording has excellent narration and sound quality and is particularly notable for the children's voices. Moore uses subtle nuances to distinguish between characters, and conveys a sense of Sadako's gentle spirit and courage. The recording is further enriched at the end by an interesting biography of Eleanor Coerr that explains how the author came to write Sadako's story. Schools and public libraries will benefit from adding this recording to their collections.
Paula L. Setser, Deep Springs Elementary School, Lexington, KY
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.


An extraordinary book, one no reader will fail to find compelling and unforgettable. -- Booklist, starred review

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Puffin Modern Classics
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; 1 edition (April 12, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142401137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142401132
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (304 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Nancy R. Katz VINE VOICE on January 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr is the true story of a young girl who was born in Japan two years before the end of WWII.

Sadako lives an idyllic life with her parents and two brothers not far from where the atom bomb was dropped in 1945. Although she sees evidence of this horrific act on the faces of other people and knows that many have died from the diseases caused by the radioactive materials, her life hasn't been touched by this. But then Sadako becomes very ill as the result of the radiation. Shortly after she is diagnosed her friend tells her the story of how a thousand paper cranes can bring good luck. And so Sadako begins making origami paper cranes and wishes for good health.

This book is based on the true story of the girl Sadako who was born in Japan in 1943 and died from leukemia in 1955. Today she is a national hero to children in Japan. While this is a sad book adn may not b eright for all younger children, it does teach a wonderful lesson about the effects of war on innocent people and courage in the face of a terminal illness.

As a footnote, last spring we attended the wedding of a friends son. As a party favor at the end of the wedding, the bride made paper cranes for the guests to wish us luck as we had wished them the same. She also told the legend of a thousand paper cranes and couldn't help but think about this when I saw this book on the library shelves and as I read this book. I don't think I will ever look at a paper crane the same way now after reading this book.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Plume45 on October 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
Inspired by a real incident after the bombing of Hiroshima, this short tale flows easily along and can be read in one sitting. Much more than a grim reminder of the horrors of atomic war (with a decade of contamination which causes death, crippling and disfigurement to its victims), this story offers hope insted of condemnation.
Ten-year-old Sadako is very active, dreaming of representing her school on the track team. Until she starts experiencing dizziness and other odd symptoms, which she hides from her family as long as she can. Ultimately she is hospitalized with the "atom bmomb disease," which causes her great physical and emotional pain, as her tender life is soon to be senselessly cut short. Must she die so young and unfulfilled, a decade after the day that stopped history? Is there no end to the list of civilian Japanese casualties?
Then her faithful girlfriend suggests a method--based on superstition--to distract her and pass the time in bed: folding 1000 paper cranes (the Japanese art called Origami). Her brother even offers to hang them. Can such a repetitive act really conquer the curse upon this innocent girl, as folklore insists? Will she live long enough to complete her self-appointed task? This short and touching read inspired both school children of Japan and later many adults to honor her commitment to life and beauty, to trust and hope. Written in a style for younger readers, the message of SADAKO will reach out to senstitive humans of all ages.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By laura on May 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
Sadako and The Thousand Paper Cranes opened my eyes to a part of children's literature that I barely knew existed. I read this book as an assignment for Children's Literature at Kent State University. I an not a traditional student, nor have I ever been, and my knowledge of historical events leaves a lot to be desired.
I felt almost like a child learning of this atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima for the first time. The events in this story sparked my interest. The author, Eleanor Coerr, does a wonderful job of presenting some facts about the bombing in a way that children can relate to, while leaving enough unknown that they will want to find out more. Is this not what historical fiction should do?
The text and pictures make this book easily readable by a child as young as seven years. Including the epilogue, it is only sixty-four pages long, and the transitions throughout hold a reader's attention. The story teaches while presenting an ejoyable read. For these reasons and many others, I was very inpressed by this book.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By K. Roth on April 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
A teacher used this book in her 7th grade remedial reading classroom because they were studying Japan. She started off by reading the beginning of a book called Hiroshima which talked about the airplane taking off that had the atomic bomb on it which was destined to be dropped on Hiroshima. She then had the students read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. It was a wonderful lesson. I think that the children really learned how the effects of the A bomb lasted for so long. Sadako gets leukemia from the radiation left from the A bomb. It describes rememberance day from and how the Japenese people were affected by this event in history.

I think it was a wonderful lesson for students to experience what occurred to the people of Japan from their viewpoint. I bought this book for my nephew to read because I think it is so important for kids to understand effects of war from "the other side's" viewpoint. I think that it will help build tolerance and understanding about tough issues such as the effects from the A bomb and what it did to the Japanese people.
I think this is a great book for parents to read to their upper elementary kids. It will open up a line of discussion that might otherwise be overlooked.
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