Reviews

Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story, by Caren Stelson

forest_reader's review against another edition

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3.0

Sachiko is the story of a survivor of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki. It follows her story from when she was six years old and hit by the bomb all the way until late in her life. The book also offers side pages of WWII information to help you put Sachiko’s story into context. And while I found it interesting to read, I wasn’t blown away. The writing felt very removed from the incident, and even after reading a whole book about Sachiko, I feel I barely know her. In fact, the book sorta felt like a Wikipedia article written by a distant friend. I wanted more depth and feeling and less facts. But I still think this book has value in educating people about the consequences of our bomb, so it gets 3 stars.

rhiparent's review against another edition

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5.0

To be completely honest, I didn't really know what this book was about when I chose it for my informational text. I just ended up with it because it was the cheapest option of the books on the syllabus under this category for me to rent from Textbook Brokers. However, I feel so lucky that I did end up with this book because it really changed my outlook on certain aspects of life and I learned a lot of new information. I never really learned about how the US bombed Japan in school- I feel like all of the information we learned about World War II was centered around the Holocaust and what was happening in Germany. I knew that we had used nuclear bombs on Hiroshima, but I didn't know just how catastrophic it was, how many cities we actually bombed, and I didn't know about the extent of the aftereffects either. Unfortunately, it seems like a majority of the population (both Japanese and American) didn't know about the aftereffects of being exposed to radiation even years after the bombings because talking about it was so heavily censored by the American Government.

I made the mistake of starting to read this book while I was at work. I work at a preschool, and while the kids are asleep (after all of the chores are done) we will often read books or work on homework until it is time for them to wake up. I read about the first 50 pages of this book during naptime on Monday until I had to stop because I was crying so hard I was afraid I was going to wake up my class. It continued on like that until about halfway through the book. The amount of pain that Sachiko and her family and everyone else that was affected by nuclear strikes is almost incomprehensible to me. I can't imagine going through so much trauma at such a young age.

For being an informational book, Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story was actually a fairly fast-paced read for me, I think because a majority of it is written like a memoir and so much of it focuses on Sachiko's story and her strength. Sachiko's story is so inspiring, and I would definitely want to use this book in my classroom, however, I probably wouldn't use it for anyone younger than middle school just because it is such a heavy topic. I am so glad that I read this book. I learned so much, and I have been thinking about Sachiko constantly since I finished it. I'm sure her story will live with me for a very long time. Also, this book inspired me to check some books about Gandhi, MLK Jr, and Helen Keller out of the library!

evamadera1's review against another edition

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3.0

I find myself in the minority when it comes to opinions of this book.
First, I read this book in my quest to finish reading all the books on the nominee list for the South Carolina Librarians Association Young Adult list for the 18-19 school year. (I have read the ones on the Junior list for 18-19 and 19-20 as well as the young adult list for 19-20.)
The young adult list targets books meant for high schoolers. Upon reading this book, I felt like the narrative talked down to the reader. It simplifies far too much and avoids significant details, spanning a lifetime in a few pages.
While I wholeheartedly believe that this story desperately needs to be told, I feel like Stelson did Sachiko's story an injustice with this simplified telling. Many of my middle schoolers would decline to pick up this book because of its simplified nature and this book supposedly targets high schoolers.

chyneyee's review

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5.0

I have to take a momentary break for every few pages that I’ve read. This is a heartwrenching story of Sachiko recounting her memories during the Nagasaki bombing when she was six years old.

The year 2021 has only just begun. And I already felt this book will be one of the most unforgettable books that I’ve read this year, and probably in my entire life.

Book Review: Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story by Caren Stelson.

kittalia's review against another edition

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4.0

August 9, 1945 began as a normal day for six-year-old Sachiko—little food, a chicken that didn’t lay, but a loving family and good friends. In Nagasaki, 1945, times are tough but survivable—at least, until Sachiko’s game of house is interrupted by a falling bomb. Her youngest brother is dead immediately; as her family flees, another brother dies from his burns, and another from the radiation sickness. Sachiko, her sister, and her parents are sick for months, but they recover to become survivors of an atomic bomb blast. Even for survivors, the rigors of postwar life and the mysterious ailments and cancers that afflict those near the bombing take a deadly toll. Sachiko’s story is clearly told with simple, unpretentious language that makes it easily readable for all ages. Interspersed between chapters, two-page spreads give historical background in more detail; some of these the average American will find familiar, but others are more unusual. As I read Sachiko, I was surprised by all the things I had never been taught—the symptoms of radiation poisoning (besides cancer), the quality of life in postwar Japan, and the way the doctors sent to study the effects of radiation refused to acknowledge its existence. Although the simplicity of this book may be frustrating for some adults, this book should be a part of every school’s education.

sarahjaneinstpaul's review

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4.0

Kip and I read this one before bed which was tough. It's quite explicit and sad. That said, an extremely important story especially for a boy who loves his war books.

kgaunce's review against another edition

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5.0

Everyone should read this. Especially #45.

libscote's review against another edition

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4.0

An excellent middle-grade work describing what happens to one survivor of Nagasaki's bombing. I felt deeply for Sachiko, and it made me want to learn more about the Japanese front of WWII. I might be biased in my reading, but does it feel like proportionally there is more middle-grade literature about the European side of things and the homefront than about the Japanese front? Hopefully this will inspire people to learn more about that horrific side of the war (although really, all sides of war are full of horror.)

thisgrrlreads's review

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4.0

Here in the US, we do not see enough perspectives from Japan after the atomic bombs were dropped. This is one perspective, from Sachiko who was six at the time and watched nearly all of her family die during the bombing or directly after from radiation sickness or cancer. It is heartbreaking but it's also amazing to see who Sachiko was inspired by throughout her life, to go on and finally speak out about what happened to her in spite of everything. There were a number of text boxes with background information about the war and political situation that were illuminating and might inspire some further reading on WWII from a different perspective.

aprileclecticbookworm's review against another edition

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4.0

This was a very well written and heartbreaking account of a young girl and her family who lived in Nagasaki. It’s under YA but the author didn’t really talk down or oversimplify the language or content. It’s short but the story doesn’t stop with just the experience of the bomb drop but continued to tell her experiences for years later as a direct result of it. The inclusion of Helen Keller visiting Nagasaki was interesting. I knew she was an advocate for the disabled but didn’t realize she had traveled so extensively. Don’t skip the notes section.