SACHIKO by Caren Stelson


A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story
Age Range: 12 - 18
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Books about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for young people are plentiful, but very few focus on the hibakusha, survivors of the bombings, and this important biography notably fills that gap.

Sachiko Yasui was 6 when an atomic bomb exploded half a mile from her home in Nagasaki. After briefly describing the impact of the war on Sachiko’s life, Stelson focuses on the immediate aftermath and the years that followed, culminating in 1995, the 50th anniversary of the bombing, when Sachiko began sharing her experiences publicly. The narrative effectively conveys the long-lasting effects of the bombings, including such radiation-related maladies as leukemia and thyroid cancer. Stelson acknowledges that the “necessity” of the atomic bombing to end the war with Japan is debatable. Although Stelson interviewed Sachiko extensively, direct quotes, which would add significant impact to the narrative, are not used, and oddly absent is any sense of Sachiko’s feelings about the bombing. Hibakusha typically speak of the atomic bombings as an important lesson to the world and display a sense of goodwill and understanding rather than animosity or bitterness. There is also no discussion about why the United States bombed Nagasaki so soon after Hiroshima, giving the Japanese so little time to assess and respond to the first attack.

An important perspective on the atomic bombings, a controversial decision that continues to provoke passionate debate. (photo, maps, glossary, source notes, bibliography, further reading) (Biography. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4677-8903-5
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Carolrhoda
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2016


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