The Complete Story of Sadako Sasaki ハードカバー – 2018/9/21
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Sadako Sasaki, a young girl of twelve, develops leukemia caused by exposure to the atom bomb dropped on her city of Hiroshima, Japan at the end of WWII. While in the hospital, Sadako learns to fold origami cranes and believes that folding the cranes might lead to the granting of a wish. A loving and compassionate child, Sadako's life inspires her classmates to create a memorial in her honor, to remember all the children impacted by the war.
Masahiro Sasaki, Sadako's older brother, and Sue DiCicco, founder of The Peace Crane Project, tell Sadako's true story in English for the first time.
"My grandfather, Harry S. Truman, never spoke to me about the atomic bombings of Japan. Like most Americans, I learned about them in school. Textbooks didn't give me much more than casualty figures. Nothing about what really happened to the people on the ground. Sadako Sasaki's story was the first human story of the bombings I'd ever read. It led me to Masahiro and two visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the second, with my son, Wesley, to record survivor testimony for the Truman Presidential Library. In all that time, Masahiro rarely told his own version of his family's story, preferring to focus on his sister's courage and selflessness. Now, we have the full story of the courage and selflessness of the entire Sasaki family, their friends and the people of Hiroshima."
Clifton Truman Daniel, Grandson of President Harry S. Truman
"Born in Hiroshima in 1943, Sadako Sasaki was two years old when she experienced the atomic bombing. She lived life as fully as she could, but it was cut short at the young age of twelve. The powerful message she proclaimed throughout her entire life still resonates with us all: Peace in our world can be achieved not through holding grudges but through striving to live our lives with compassion for others. Hope will be born from overcoming our differences, from profound understanding of one another, and from respect for our fellow human beings."
Kazumi Matsui, Mayor, Hiroshima, Japan
"Through reading the story of Sadako Sasaki you will know that the abolition of nuclear weapons and the rejection of war are the only path to survival for mankind. As you read the unbearable tragedy brought by the atomic bombing, you will learn the real meaning of 'to live' from Sadako, who patiently fought against an incurable disease that was so hard to endure. I hope you make many friends through the symbolic 'paper crane' left to us by Sadako. Please build a peaceful future together."
Dr. Tadatoshi Akiba, Former Mayor, Hiroshima, Japan
"When children make a crane it gives them a personal connection to a tragedy that they might otherwise not grasp because it's horrific dimensions surpass normal imagination. Focusing on one person's story opens the possibility of becoming engaged in the abolition of nuclear weapons. If a mere one hundred explode every person's life on this frail planet will suffer beyond normal imagination and we must never let that happen."
Jonathan Granoff, President, Global Security Institute
"The Complete Story of Sadako Sasaki reminds us of our essential goodness and belongs in libraries, classrooms, and homes everywhere. Sadako inspires us to connect with others, recognize their needs, and act accordingly regardless of our personal circumstances. Omoiyari-no-kokoro, the act of showing empathy and concern, is demonstrated over and over again, as both Sadako and the authors offer us an opportunity to understand the joy of living beyond ourselves."
Dr. Dorothy J. Maver, President, National Peace Academy
"This book tells the story of a young girl, Sadako Sasaki, an innocent victim of war. While in the hospital, twelve-year-old Sadako folded more than one thousand paper cranes in the hope of recovering from her atomic bomb-induced disease. The book was written to inform young readers of Sadako's struggle and to inspire them to take action for peace. I believe it succeeds on both counts."
Dr. David Krieger, President, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
This book is authored by Sue DiCicco and Massahiro Sasaki, the older brother of Sadako. They had assistance from a translator. The format is chronological and has important elements that will engage children.
The detailed account of the atomic bomb, its devastation, and aftermath draw students into what happened to the people that experienced it. Sadako is further described as a competitive student athlete who was popular with her peers. My students were glued to their seats while I read aloud sections to them.
If you read the book to younger students (grade 5 and younger), you may want to temper some of the descriptions of injuries (p. 31). That is a judgement call as the horror is real and not gratuitous. Another suggestion: you may want to substitute “mother” and “father” in place of their names while reading. I find that helps me as I’m reading aloud and the students as they didn’t have their own copies of the book. I am buying 5 more copies so that there is a copy is all grade 8 classrooms.
This book should be in all middle and high school collections. Families would also appreciate discussing this book. It is the perfect resource to build background knowledge and interest if you’re considering doing anything around the United Nations Peace Day, American History, etc.
There are actual photos of Sadako and illustrations throughout provided by Sadako’s brother Masahiro Sasaki and Sue DiCicco, author/illustrator and founder of the Peace Crane Project.