Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes


Eleanor Coerr

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Sadako can help.

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes Characters


The novel’s protagonist, Sadako Sasaki is a spirited and ambitious eleven-year-old girl with a passion for running free. Sadako was only a year old when the nuclear bomb was dropped on Hiroshima nine years previously… read analysis of Sadako


Sadako’s best friend from school. When Chizuko first visits Sadako in the hospital, she brings Sadako several pieces of colorful papers and a pair of scissors, and instructs Sadako in the art of making origami… read analysis of Chizuko


A young boy who is staying at the Red Cross Hospital at the same time as Sadako. Kenji is also sick with leukemia though he was not even born when the atom bomb went… read analysis of Kenji
Minor Characters
Sadako’s older brother. Supportive and loving, Masahiro helps Sadako to string every paper crane she makes from the ceiling of her hospital room.
Sadako’s younger sister.
Sadako’s youngest brother, who is shy but eager to bring her gifts during her stay in the hospital.
Mrs. Sasaki
Sadako’s mother. Watching her daughter suffer takes a great toll on her and brings her a great deal of grief. However, she remains supportive and loving until the very end, praying each and every day for her daughter’s health to be restored.
Mr. Sasaki
Sadako’s father.
Dr. Numata
Sadako’s doctor at the Red Cross Hospital.
Nurse Yasunaga
A kind nurse at the Red Cross Hospital who offers Sadako support, hope, and wisdom as Sadako struggles with her illness. She also helps Sadako to understand that while death can be seen is something to be feared, it can also be seen as offering freedom from suffering.