Copyright

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
Sadako

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
Memorial

  • 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
Hiroshima

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