Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Twelve-year-old Sadako lives in Hiroshima Japan. She was two years old when the the US dropped an atomic bomb on her city; she survived and her city is rebuilding. But, ten years later, she Sadako falls ill and is diagnosed with leukemia, a disease that had become very common as a result of the radiation absorbed by people living in the area affected by the bomb. This book tells the story of Sadako's family, her illness, and the way her friends rallied around her goal to fold 1,000 origami cranes before she died. Sadako and her cranes are a folk legend in Japan, even commemorated with a statue in Hiroshima Peace Park. Her story is a sad but beautiful story of friendship and courage -- and the horrors of war that we often can't even imagine until they happen.