Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes (October book club)

This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace in the world. 

Sadako Sasaki was a Japanese child who was 2½ years old on Aug 6, 1945, when the atomic bomb was dropped near her home in Hiroshima, Japan at the of World War II. She developed leukemia because of the radiation from the bomb and died in 1955. She Believing in a legend that folding 1,000 paper cranes might save her life, she made 644 cranes by the day she died.

This month we got to read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Elenor Coerr. As a side note, our month-long community-wide reading program, The Big Read Holland Area, chose When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka as the common read book for this month. Because we wanted to participate in it as a book club, we chose a book about the same historical time period and cultural context.

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is a story with so many things to talk about: world politics and peace, death and sad endings, Japanese culture and customs, the author’s purpose and hope. It’s a story that seems more relevant than ever.

We started by eating Japanese food out of bento boxes…de-lish!


We then talked about themes in the book: good luck charms, kindness, friendship, good/bad events and found examples of each theme and, in small groups, put these examples on a theme timeline.

Last, but not least, we made paper cranes! Let’s just say that it was easier for some of us than others. We were grateful for superstar James who led us through the 33 steps!


May peace indeed be our cry and prayer. Thanks Snyders for leading us this month!

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