This striking work of narrative nonfiction tells the true story of six-year-old Sachiko Yasui's survival of the Nagasaki atomic bomb on August 9, 1945, and the heartbreaking and lifelong aftermath. Having conducted extensive interviews with Sachiko Yasui, Caren Stelson chronicles Sachiko’s trauma and loss as well as her long journey to find peace. This book offers readers a remarkable new perspective on the final moments of World War II and their aftermath.
Fifty years after surviving the atomic bombing of Nagasaki as a six-year-old, Sachiko Yasui began to share her story. This moving work of creative nonfiction offers Yasui's account of life in wartime Japan, the "unspeakable seconds" of the bombing, her family's struggle to survive, the deaths of her siblings from radiation sickness, her thyroid cancer, and her decades-long struggle to find words as a hibakusha, a survivor of the bombing. Photographs and short essays on topics that include "Racism and War," "Little Boy and Fat Man" (code names for the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively), and "Long-Term Effects of Radiation" provide illuminating background. Throughout, Stelson highlights defining moments in Yasui's life, such as her father's grief over Gandhi's death, Helen Keller's visit to Nagasaki, and Yasui's awareness of nonviolent protests led by Martin Luther King Jr., which influenced her eventual commitment to speak ("Sachiko knew this: the world must never again see nuclear war"). This powerful narrative account of one person finding her voice after insufferable trauma encapsulates a grim era in global history. Ages 10 up.
Everyone should read
I found this in my humanities classroom and read it. After that I read it five times and then used it for a history assignment. I think everyone should read this. what happened shouldn’t happen to anyone else so let’s not repeat this in history.