A review of Hiroshima literature
for Primary School Students and Teachers

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

by Eleanor Coerr

One of the most famous books written about Hiroshima for children is 'Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes'. This book comes in two forms one as below is a short novel size for older Primary students and a picture book size for younger students.

Sadako is the true story of a child who was only two years old when the bomb the bomb was dropped on her hometown of Hiroshima. She contracted leukaemia as a result of the radiation fallout from the bomb and died when she was barely 10. Her story is one of courage and hope. She devised the now well-known symbol for Hiroshima, the paper crane.

This WebQuest link for Grades 3 - 5 uses the book 'Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes' by Eleanor Coerr to allow students to research, learn and form opinions on topics such as Japan, Japanese culture, war, World War II, Hiroshima, atomic bombs, heroism and origami.

The Story of the First Atom Bomb

by Clive A. Lawton.
Franklin Watts publishers

This is a non-fiction book written with young people in mind. It is contains information and pictures from the events surrounding the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It skirts around the issue of why the bomb was dropped by saying 'some say this and some say that'

Eg "Why drop a second bomb?

Some people believe that the USA bombed a second city to find out which of the two types of bomb worked best. Others maintain that the USA bombed Nagasaki to ensure Japan's immediate surrender. .." P.29

In writing such a book the author has to appear unbiased. The photos and issues raised in the book are good. It goes further than just Hiroshima Nagasaki to look at modern implications of the bomb for current students. It is well worth being in your school library.

My Hiroshima

By Junko Morimoto

This very sensitive book written by Junko a survivor of the Hiroshima herself tells her story first in simple text and very wonderful illustrations and later in some very telling photos. The book illustrates in a form that children can relate to how it felt to be bombed on that day