Sadako Sasaki lived in Hiroshima when the atom bomb fell and a few years into her childhood she got sick with Lukemia. While in the hospital, her goal is to fold 1,000 paper cranes because as legend has it, if a sick person folds 1,000 cranes, the gods will reward the person with health and long life.
I highly recommend this book; it fits perfectly with our PYP Unit about Heroes. Sadako Sasaki is a hero and in Hiroshima there is a Peace Memorial showing a statue of her holding a gold crane in her hand. I hope to see it in person one day. Due to this little girls hope and dedication, the paper crane has become a symbol of peace around the world. I remember visiting 911 Ground Zero site a few years ago and being reminded of Sadako when I saw all of the paper cranes children from around the US sent as a peace gesture.
You can watch her story on YouTube using the link below.
Also, use these links to find out more information:
Sadako Sasaki and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Special Exhibit: Sadako Sasaki
Angel Hero: Sadako Sasaki (This site also has links to other heroes from around the world)
Links for teachers and parents:
Sadako Reading Activities
Fiction Level 2-3: Sadako Lessons
Oragami Resource Center