Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Author: Eleanor Coerr
Illustrator: Ronald Himler
Grade Level Equivalent:
Guided Reading Level:
Historical Fiction, Biography
Arts and Crafts, Disease and Illness, World War II Aftermath to Today, Japanese and Japanese American
Two-year-old Sadako Sasaki was living in Hiroshima when the atom bomb was dropped. Sadly, ten years later, she was diagnosed with leukemia, also known as "atom bomb disease."
There is a Japanese legend that says that if a sick person folds 1,000 paper cranes, the gods will make her well again. Sadako spent long hours in bed, folding those paper cranes, and never giving up that hope. When Sadako had folded six hundred and forty-four cranes, and they hung above her bed on strings, her classmates folded the rest.
Today there is a memorial in Hiroshima Peace Park dedicated to Sadako. Children come there and leave the paper cranes they make in her honor.
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is based on a true story.