The Beauty and Sadness of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

The Beauty and Sadness of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is a historical novel set in Post-WWII Japan written by Eleanor Coerr. This is a wonderful book to use for a novel study, literature circles, book clubs, or individual study in the classroom or home school.


Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes was first published in 1977 and is based on the true story of Sadako Sasaki. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is a thoughtful book that helps students see the other side of war, both the effects on innocent citizens and in the point of view of the “enemy”.

Summary of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes:

Sadako Sasaki was a toddler living near Hiroshima, Japan when the United States dropped the atomic bomb on the area in 1945.  When Sadako was 12 years old she was diagnosed with the “Atom Bomb Disease”, Leukemia.

Sadako was inspired by the Japanese legend that one who created a thousand origami paper cranes would be granted a wish. Her wish was to survive. Sadako worked hard to create her paper cranes but sadly succumbed to the disease. Her family and friends worked to accomplish her goal after her death.


See what people are saying about the Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes Novel Study by The Teaching Bank!

This is a great novel to accompany a study of:

  • Learn Origami.
  • Research the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII.
  • Research Japan.
  • Investigate Atomic and Nuclear energy.
  • Research radiation and its links to Leukemia.

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is an inspiring story of friendship, empathy, and perseverance despite facing the greatest odds, and is a great tie to History.

I offer a complete novel study to accompanySadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

You can purchase this novel study at the following locations:

Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

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