Book Review: Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

by Melissa on January 25, 2010 · 0 comments

in 9-12, ATOS 4.0-4.9, Classic, Lexile 600-699, Non-Fiction, Peoples & Cultures, Social Issues

Title:Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Publisher: Puffin
Author:Eleanor Coerr
Lexile: [?] 630L
ATOS Level: [?] 4.1
Parent Rating:
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Rating: 2.5/5 (2 votes cast)
PAUSE For Ages:


Hospitalized with the dreaded atom bomb disease, leukemia, a child in Hiroshima races against time to fold one thousand paper cranes to verify the legend that by doing so a sick person will become healthy.


This is a poignant story about a little girl who dies of leukemia as a result of the radiation from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.  Younger or very sensitive children may be particularly disturbed by the content and the fact that the girl dies. The prologue explains that  America pursued such a tragic course to try to end the war. The story is largely apolitical and focuses on the little girl. (We have listed this in the 9-12 age range, per Amazon, but it has been listed for as young as 4-8 other places. Our library had it in the YA section.) We suggest reading it with your child at any age.


None [?]

Sexual Content





Mention of family members and friends who have died as a result of the atomic bomb. Pictures of the dead and dying bother Sadako. So do the people who were burned by the bomb. Sadako worries about dying, wonders if it will hurt.


A young friend at the hospital dies. The prologue explains that the US Air Force dropped an atomic bomb in an effort to end the war. This may generate some conversation.


The family prays around a little alter in their home. Girl wonder’s if her grandmother’s spirit is floating above the alter. Several mentions of omen’s and good luck. The belief that when you die, you shed your body and your spirit is free. Celebration ‘O Bon’ for spirits of the dead who return to visit on this day.

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Book Review: Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, 2.5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

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