Hiroshima – Review

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Hiroshima by Laurence Yep

Age: 9-12

Hiroshima is a novella detailing the events of the atomic bomb attack in Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945. Yep centralizes the story on two tweleve year old sisters named Rikko and Sachi, composites of a number of resident’s of Hiroshima at the time. the majority of this book is a non-fiction and very straight forward account of the attack during World War II.

Laurence Yep is an acclaimed author of many children’s books, and this title does not dissapoint. Yep’s neutral tone makes this story a heart-breaking tale.His descriptions of the bomb, and the aftermath are inspiring and guilt ridden:

There is a terrible wind. Houses collapse like boxes. Windows break everywhere. Broken glass swirls like angry insects.

The wind strikes Sachi’s back like a hammer and picks her up. She feels as if she has fallen into boiling oil. It tears away her special hood and even her clothes. The wind sweeps her into the whirlwind of glass.

One of the most powerful bombs ever created, the nuclear bombed was dropped in Japan as retaliation against Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor 2 years prior. Quick to discover the enormity of their mistake, the US rushed to work with Japan after the war ended, going as far as bringing in the Hiroshima Maidens for major reconstructive plastic surgery. Yep goes further into history by briefly explaing how the world reacted to the bomb, how other nations began developing their own bombs and the treaties signed to ensure that no one would use or test these bombs in open space where it could cause more damage or radiation to any living creature.

This is an excellent companion book to 1000 Paper Cranes by Ishii Takayuki. Sadako Sasaki died from the radiation poisoning from the bomb and tried to make 1000 origami cranes to follow a fable that anyone who makes 1000 cranes will have 1 wish granted. 1000 Paper Cranes is another tale of a girl in Japan ten years after the bomb had been dropped, Sadako and the Children’s Peace Statue built in her memory.

Hiroshima: A Novella
by Laurene Yep
Scholastic Inc, 1995
ISBN 0590208322
56 pages


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