Sadako is a character I fell in love with. Her enthusiasm for life despite all odds filled me with hope. Sadako is a young girl living in Hiroshima. She is lively and athletic, a runner on her school’s racing team. However, she is diagnosed with leukemia, and goes to the hospital for medicine. She remembers the legend of the Thousand Paper Cranes, which is that if a sick person folds a thousand cranes they will be healed. This hope is pervasive, and ultimately gives her the peace she desires.
This book is for middle grade or earlier readers, written without talking down to them. This is a tragic story, but gives readers a glimpse into what the post-atmoic-bomb life looked like in Hiroshima. It gives readers the traditions present as well as showing them the tragedies of the city.
The most meaningful part of this book for me was the author’s note at the end. I loved hearing about Sadako’s real life, and ended up crying because I felt so moved by her story. Thinking about how many people lived out similar lives to hers is so deeply sad, and I feel a sense of honor towards her that her classmates took her story to heart and honored her as well.