Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes: Author & Genre

Instructor: Valerie Keenan

Valerie has taught elementary school and has her master's degree in education.

'Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes' is a story that inspires hope and peace. Read about this true story, and learn some interesting facts about the author Eleanor Coerr.

A Story of Hope and Peace

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is based on the true story of a girl named Sadako Sasaki. It begins nine years after the United States dropped an atom bomb on the city of Hiroshima, Japan in an attempt to end World War II. When the bomb fell, Sadako was only two years old, and she survived the explosion with seemingly no injuries. However, when Sadako was 11 years old, she discovered that she had leukemia, a form of cancer many people called the 'atom bomb disease'. The leukemia was a result of radiation poisoning from the bomb.

Sadako Sasaki right before she passed away

While Sadako was in the hospital, her best friend Chizuko told her that if she folded one thousand paper cranes, the gods would heal her. Sadako continued to grow weaker and sicker, but she never gave up hope. In the book, the young girl only managed to fold 644 of the beautiful paper birds before she took her last breath. After her death, Sadako's classmates folded the rest of the one thousand paper cranes, and they were buried with her.

Sadako's story is one that inspires peace and hope all over the world, and there is a monument in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in memory of Sadako that helps spread her story.

Sadakos memorial at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

  • Because Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is based on real historical people and events, but is not completely true, it is a work of historical fiction. In real life, Sadako managed to fold 1,300 paper cranes before she passed away.

The Author: Eleanor Coerr

Eleanor Coerr was born and raised in Canada, and she loved to read and tell stories as a child. In 1949, just four years after the atom bomb fell in Hiroshima, Eleanor traveled to Japan as a newspaper reporter and lived there for a year. She visited Hiroshima while she was there and witnessed the devastation that the bomb had caused.

Hiroshima in ruins

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account