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School Library Journal Review
Gr 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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr. 2-6. The story of Sadako, who died at 11 from leukemia triggered by the Hiroshima explosion, is interwoven with the Japanese legend that making 1,000 paper cranes brings healing. Librarians wanting factual background information about the Sadako statue and Hiroshima's Peace Park should see Betty Jean Lifton's Return to Hiroshima (Atheneum) or her A Place Called Hiroshima (Harper).
Kirkus Book Review
Sadako is the twelve-year-old Hiroshima girl who died in 1955 of leukemia, ""the atomic bomb disease,"" and is remembered today by the Japanese children who place folded paper cranes beneath her statue on Peace Day, the anniversary of the bomb. Aided by Sadako's letters, Coerr recreates the last year of her life, introducing the little girl as a high-spirited fast runner chosen to represent her class in the big relay race on Field Day. Then running begins to make her dizzy, and the rest occurs in the hospital where she sets out to fold 1,000 paper cranes--an achievement which, according to legend, will induce the gods to make a sick person well. Sadako folds 644 cranes, then Coerr has her die watching them as they seem to fly above her hospital bed. Coerr's stale fictionalization (Sadako ""rushes like the wind"" when well, is later visited by ""a steady stream of relatives"") makes Sadako's experience less moving than it could be, and Himler's fluttery black and white illsutrations, though they do offset the heaviness of the prose, axe a bit excessive in their emotionalism. However, neither destroys the story's obvious affective potential. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.