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Wow! It’s week NINE of the Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series! NINE…..where did time go this summer?
As you many already know, this series is my way of inspiring parents who are looking for creative ways to keep their kids reading this summer. All of the books I am jumping into feature protagonists are girls or women and most of our showcased authors are women as well.
I will be offering up a combination of themed weeks, great novels, booklist giveaways, and blog post recaps so be sure and stop by to discover more wonderful ways have A Bookjumper Summer while Exploring Our World and Beyond!
This week I am jumping into another delightful book from another female author. Eleanor Coerr was a Canadian-born American writer of children’s books, including Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes and many picture books. She was born in Kamsack, Saskatchewan, Canada, and raised in Saskatoon. Sadly, Eleanor passed away in 2010 but her legacy lives on in the wonder books she has written including Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.
The story goes that Eleanor revisited Hiroshima i 1963 and saw the statue of Sadako in the Hiroshima Peace Park. Impressed by the stories she heard about Sadako’s talent for running, courage when faced with cancer, and determination to fold one thousand paper cranes, Eleanor was inspired to find a copy of Kokeshi, Sadako’s autobiography. The book inspired her to create a biography of Sadako Sasaki, on that American children could read and enjoy.
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes has been translated into many languages and has moved both children and adults to write plays, perform ballets, compose songs, and collect money for peace statues-all celebrating Sadako and her wish for peace. Eleanor has visited schools all around the world encouraging her audiences to work for a nonviolent world. Folded cranes are everywhere, and always underneath the statue of Sadako in Hiroshima’s Peace Park. SOURCE.
Book Review from Hannah Rials
There are many beautiful stories created in this world—stories of love or peace. The story of Sadako Sasaki is a story of love, peace, and hope. Sadako is the best runner in her class, and her greatest wish is to be the best runner in her entire school and to make the junior high team. She is a very superstitious girl who believes strongly in the power of lucky signs—a spider crawling across the floor, a cloudless sky, and paper cranes.
Sadako lives in post-World War II Hiroshima, Japan, every day experiencing the effects of the atomic bomb dropped on the city. People are mutilated, and many are now suffering through the “atom bomb disease,” also known as Leukemia. Everyone thinks, especially the children, it won’t happen to me. I’m healthy. I’m strong.
Sadako is practicing her most favorite activity in the whole world when the dizziness starts, and never gets better, until one day it is all too much to handle. Sadako is admitted to the Red Cross hospital where she is poked and prodded until it becomes routine. Her friends and family visit her every day.
One day, her best friend Chizuko brings her a beautiful treasure—a golden paper crane. She tells Sadako that if she can fold 1,000 paper cranes, she will get better and live to be an old, old woman. So Sadako sets out, and her older brother hangs the hundreds of cranes from the ceiling of her quiet hospital room, always holding onto the hope that she will recover.
Sadako’s story does not have what everyone would call a happy ending. But everyone who reads her story grasp the hope and love that this dear child felt in a bleak post-war time. Her story is simple and beautiful. I was very much moved by Coerr’s writing. I felt the love and the pain, the strength and the hope. There are always two sides to a story. There is always a consequence to every action. We live in trying times, and history is not a vision of peace and tranquility. But if we hope for peace, and show our love, we can make a difference. Sadako and the testament that she has left in Hiroshima demonstrate that.
Something to Do
1. In the back of Eleanor Coerr’s book, she gives easy to follow, step by step instructions on how to make paper cranes like Sadako.
2. Every year during Japan’s memorial peace day, every one comes out and places floating lanterns in the river. Go HERE
to learn how to make your own floating lanterns.
3. Sadako loved her good luck signs. Here are some more to keep your eye out for:
- If a ladybug lands on you
- Finding a four-leaf clover
- A head’s up penny
What are your good luck signs?
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