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Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes Paperback – 1 Sep 1987
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About the Author
Eleanor Coerr was born in Kamsack, Saskatchewan, Canada, and grew up in Saskatoon. Two of her favorite childhood hobbies were reading and making up stories. Eleanor began her professional life as a newspaper reporter and editor of a column for children. Luckily, she traveled to Japan in 1949 as a writer for the Ottawa Journal, since none of the other staff wanted to go to a country that had been devastated by war. Coerr is the writer of numerous children's book and picture books.Born in Cleveland Ohio, renowned illustrator Ronald Himler attended the Cleveland Institute of Art, where he majored in painting and illustration. Himler's primary focus is children's books, but he's also gained quite a following in regards to his more mature work. Ron has earned many awards over the course of his career, including the prestigous Society of Illustrators Silver Medal for the cover of Red Cap.
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Sadako was only two years old when the atomic bomb that ended the war was dropped on Hiroshima, and though her grandmother was killed, she herself was unhurt. Nine years later, she is a healthy and athletic child who is competing on the school's relay team, and looking forward to when she starts high school. But her health starts to decline, and she has to go to hospital. This is where she learns she has the dreaded "atom bomb sickness" - leukaemia, caused by the radiation that has lingered in her body for nearly a decade without sign - and for the rest of the story she slowly declines into an eventual death. Her one hope is that if she follows an old Japanese tradition and folds a thousand origami paper cranes, the gods will grant her wish and she will be well again.
My daughter asked lots of questions about the bomb and the radiation, and how that ended the war, and how if there was another World War it would be humanity's last ever one because of nuclear weapons. She was a bit taken aback that such things could even exist, let alone affect children.
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