HIROSHIMA by Laurence Yep

HIROSHIMA

A Novella
Age Range: 10 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Though deeply felt, a choppy, confusing account of Hiroshima's destruction that reads like a set of preliminary notes. Mixing tenses and cutting back and forth between the Enola Gay's flight and the activities of two Hiroshima teenagers, Riko and Sachi, Yep sets the scene in very general terms, describes the bomb's immediate and lingering devastation, then closes with quick looks at the Cold War, Sadako Sasaki's story, a 1985 peace march, and related topics. Yep has done his homework, appending four pages of adult sources, but he barrages readers with raw numbers; the significance of repeated references to an unnamed Japanese colonel exercising his horse on the day the bomb remains unclear; Sachi (who doesn't leave her home for three years after the bomb and eventually becomes a "Hiroshima maiden," one of a group of disfigured survivors sent to the US for restorative surgery) is a composite character with only a rudimentary background or personality. As 1995 will mark 50 years since the bomb was dropped, new materials are needed to join Eleanor Coerr's Sadako and the Paper Cranes (1977) and Toshi Maruki's horrifying Hiroshima No Pika (1980); this offering is unlikely to lead the pack. (Fiction. 10- 13)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-590-20832-2
Page count: 56pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1995




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