Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor CoerrTitle: Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Author: Eleanor Coerr
Pages: 68 (Puffin Classics paperback)
Rating: 4.8/5 stars

Today seems like a good day for a playlist review, right? I think so, at least. And I think I’m going to do Sadako and the Thousand Paper Planes by Eleanor Coerr.

Anyone who’s passed third grade has read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, and there’s a good reason for that. It’s a very short story that has lasting power and great discussion power, about a girl who’s still quite young. It calls on people’s empathy, even grumpy nine-year-olds’. Plus it’s a beautiful story about a different culture.

Sadako loves to run. She’s the fastest in her Bamboo class and is always happy. She’s set to be on the Junior High team, and she knows that she’s going to be good at it. But she also has a secret. After she runs, she gets dizzy. She doesn’t tell anyone about it for fear that it’s the Atom Bomb sickness, leukemia. But when she passes out on the school field and is rushed to the hospital, everyone knows. And so does she. Even though she was just a baby when the bombs fell, she is dying from them almost ten years later. Her friend Chizuko brings her origami paper and teaches her to fold paper cranes, the legend being that if you fold 1,000 cranes you will be cured. Sadako fold and folds and folds until she is too weak to fold them anymore. And then she is free.

A story based in reality, Sadako Sasaki was a real person. She is still celebrated every August 6th, on Peace Day. Children all over fold thousands and thousands of paper cranes and place them at the bottom of her statue at the Hiroshima Peace Park, where she has stood since 1958. Sadako was buried with 1,000 paper cranes, her classmates finishing the job she couldn’t complete in the short time that she had left.

And the playlist:

Can’t Take It In – Imogen Heap Sadako’s Peace Day
I’ll Hold My Breath – Ellie Goulding Sadako is chosen for the class races!
Alive/Awake – Oh Land The race
Courtyard Apocalypse – Alexandre Desplat Sadako falls yes it’s from the Harry Potter score don’t judge
Breathe In Breathe Out – Mat Kearney In the hospital
Still Alright – Adam Merrin 644 Paper Cranes
The Time Comes – Nina Gordon Sadako’s last day
When the Pain Dies Down – Chris Stills Racing with the wind (Chapter 9)

And, with that, have a great Sunday,