Yuriko is happy growing up in Hiroshima when it's just her and Papa. But her aunt Kimiko and her cousin Genji are living with them now, and the family is only getting bigger with talk of a double marriage! But while things are changing at home, the world beyond their doors is even more unpredictable. World War II is coming to an end, and Japan's fate isn't entirely clear. Yuriko is used to the sirens and air raid drills, but things start to feel more real when the neighbors who have left to fight stop coming home from the war. And then the unthinkable happens, and Yuriko's world is destroyed in the blink of an eye. Author Kathleen Burkinshaw's historical novel offers young readers insight into how children lived during the war, while also introducing them to Japanese culture. Based loosely on her mother's firsthand experience of surviving the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, The Last Cherry Blossom offers readers a warning of the immense damage nuclear war can bring, while reminding them that the real "enemy" in any war is often ourselves.