Elener Coerr

Review: Sadako and The Thousand Paper Cranes (Elener Coerr)

Image: Penguin.com.au

It is a biography book about the life of a young Japanese girl who was affected by nuclear radiation in the Japanese city of Hiroshimain 1945. She died of Leukaemia (disease caused by Nuclear Weapon). It is a true story of young girl who suffered from war like thousands of other innocent people who do not have anything to do with the war. In this book there is a message of peace and the sense of never giving up for everyone. This book is about the destruction and thunderbolt that nuclear weapon can cause. The writer says that it can affect thousands of innocent people like Sadako who have nothing to do with the war.

Sadako has dark hair with highlights from the sun. She is tall with long legs. She is quite impatient girl. She likes festivals, people, gathering and music. She was born to be a runner. Once her mother said about her, “She learned to run before she could walk.” She was the second children of Sasaki family. She had two brothers and one sister. She always thinks of her family. She does not want worry her family when she feels sick. She wishes to be with her family all the time. She cares about nothing but her family and getting into the racing team of junior high school. She likes to go everywhere. She is hard worker and practices running every day. She wishes to get into the racing team of junior high school next year. She cared about nothing but her family and getting into the racing team of junior high school. She is optimistic. Although, she is diagnosed with Leukaemia but again she hopes to recover soon and prays to get healthy. She works hard to fold 1000 paper cranes to get a wish. She is brave until the end.

Chizuko is Sadako’s best friend. She wishes Sadako to recover soon. She even find a remedy for Sadako’s illness. She brings a pair of scissors and papers for Sadako and teaches her how to fold paper cranes. She tells Sadako that if she folds 1000 paper cranes then she will get a wish no matter what so ever her wish is and thus she might recover from Leukaemia. Sadako had loving parents; Mr. and Mrs. Sasaki. They had a barber shop and were not that rich. Her older brother Massahiro, was quite helpful for her. He offered his help to hang 1000 paper cranes for her. Her sister Mitsu 9, used to help her in household chores and tried to make her happy. She had a younger brother Eiji 6, whom she always used to help to get ready for school. When she was hospitalized, Eiji used to bring paper for her to fold them into paper cranes.

The story starts with celebration of PEACE DAY. Sadako, her family and her friend Chizuko attend the Peace Day ceremony in the memorial of those whom they lost in a deadly atomic bomb attack by U.S in Hiroshima city of Japan in 1945. She was quite excited to attend the ceremony as she will find lots of people there and she will be able to eat her favourite food there. After some days, there was going to be a race on the Big Friday. Since Sadako was a passionate runner so she was eager to join the race. She was born to be a runner. She entered the race and emerged as a winner. She then focused on her preparation to break into the racing team of junior high school next year. But soon she found that while running,

she was feeling a bit dizzy and unwell. At first, she did not take it serious. But one day, when she was running in her school she fell down quite awkwardly; on trying to get up she again fell. She was then taken to hospital and to her great surprise she was found to be suffering from Leukaemia. At first she could not believe her eyes that she was down with Leukaemia. She was very disappointed when she learned that she had to stay in hospital for a long time. Thus, she was going to miss the chance to get into the racing team of junior high school. She was angry with herself as she thought that she was worrying her family with her illness. It was hard time as she never had been so lonely in her entire life.

Sadako had a very good and caring friend, Chizuko. Chizuko was quite worried about the illness of her friend. She even found a way to help Sadako recover from Leukaemia. One day when Sadako was in hospital, she brought papers and pair of scissors for her. She taught her how to fold paper cranes. She told Sadako that if she manages to fold 1000 paper cranes she would get a wish no matter whatsoever her wish might be. Thus she might recover from her illness. Sadako then started folding paper cranes. Her brother hung the paper cranes to the ceiling to her. Her family, class mates and even the nurse were collecting paper for her to fold them into paper cranes. But Sadako was not doing quite well. Day by day her condition was worsening but she never gave up. She was encouraging even a fellow patient, a young boy named Kenji not to lose hope. She always tried to show as if she is happy and healthy whenever her family paid her a visit as she did not want to worry them. In midway to 1000, she started feeling well. It seemed as if the paper cranes have started showing their magic. She recovered so much that the doctor allowed her to go back to her home. She was delighted and she started thinking about the junior high school’s racing team. Alas! She could stay only for one week at home before she was hospitalized once again. She passed that one week mostly in receiving the guests and visitors who had come to ask about her healthy. She did pass a good, happy week with her family. This time she was getting weaker and weaker rapidly. She could not eat anymore. Even she could not fold paper cranes anymore. She was lying in her bed all the time. Her mother made a very beautiful   dress (KIMONO) for her but she could hardly wear the cloth and walk in the room. Now and then she was wondering how it feels to die. Will she be living a good life after death? One day her family came to pay her a visit. While they were talking with each other, Sadako fell asleep.
And she never woke up.

Sadako’s story is a message of peace for the world. She was a courageous and hardworking girl. Though she was diagnosed with Leukaemia but she did not give up hope to make into the racing team of the junior high school. She had love for everyone in her heart. She used to enjoy her time in the company of her family and friends. She was a caring girl. She did not want to worry her family due to her illness. She always wanted to see them happy and cheerful.

Since her childhood, Elener Coerr was interested in Japan. She always wanted to visit Japan one day. 1949, She visited Japan. During her stay, she heard many stories about Sadako’s

running ability, courage and her tragic death caused by Leukaemia (Atomic bomb radiation). She was so much inspired by the story of young girl Sadako that she decided to write a book about her life. She tries to convey the message of peace to the people of the world while narrating Sadako’s story.

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is a peaceful struggle to convince the people of the world to give up fighting. The writer wishes the earth to be a peaceful place to live for everyone. She beautifully describes about Sadako’s life. She covers the life of Sadako as well as the horrible consequences of war. Through Sadako’s courage, determination and the sense of never giving up she wants to teach to all her readers these lessons. Everyone shall find it interesting. It is full of pathos, hope and courage. She represents Sadako’s life completely; her passion to win the race, her love for her family and friends and even her favourite food.

I believe every one once should read this book in their life. At the end of the book they might be able to understand how harmful and devastating the war can be for human races.
They might start feeling some pain in their heart for fellow human being who is suffering from war in different part of the world. This is a great book by Elener Coerr and it does deserve to be perused at least once by the lovers of peace and fellow human being.

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