Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

by

Eleanor Coerr

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Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes: Prologue Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The reader is informed that the novel has been based on the life of a real little girl who lived in Japan from 1943 to 1955. The real-life Sadako was in Hiroshima in 1945 when the United States Air Force dropped an atomic bomb on the city in an attempt to end World War II, and ten years later, the young Sadako died from leukemia as a result of radiation from the bomb. Sadako, the narrator says, became a heroine to the children of Japan through her courageousness in the face of strife, illness, and death.
In this brief prologue, Coerr establishes Sadako as a real-life figure whose short but difficult life—and tragic death—have made her story an emblem of strength and perseverance as well as a rallying cry for peace, nonviolence, and an end to the devastating destruction and violence of nuclear war.
Themes
Peace and Pacifism Theme Icon
History, Family, and Tradition Theme Icon
Hope, Strength, and Perseverance Theme Icon