These days, when discussing the subject of World War II in middle school classrooms, American teachers are sure to include the history of the Japanese internment camps in the United States and the result of the U.S. decision to use atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. What might be missing is a book that examines the life of a “hibakusha”—a survivor of these bombings. With Caren Stelson’s new book, Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story, the void is more than adequately filled.
Sachiko Yasui was only 6 years old on August 9, 1945, when she lived with her family in Nagasaki. Stelson’s narrative gently takes readers through her whole life, offering exquisite little details but also keeping it simple. As a survivor, Sachiko now tours Japan giving talks on her history and her desire for peace. Stelson includes sidebars and insets that provide further history and rounds it all out with photos of the war and of Sachiko.
Wonderfully written, easy to read and highly informative, this book should be a must-have for every school library. It includes a glossary, endnotes, bibliography and index.
Jennifer Bruer Kitchel is the librarian for a Pre-K through 8th level Catholic school.