Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Review: Hiroshima: A Novella by Laurence Yep

Synopsis: On the morning of August 6, 1945, an American bomber the Enola Gay, roars down the runway of the Pacific island, Tinian. Its target is Hiroshima, Japan. It's cargo is an atom bomb. The same morning, twelve-year-old Sachi and her classmates tear down houses. It is their way of contributing to the war efforts. Suddenly, a teacher yells, "B-29! B-29!" There is a blinding light like the sun a boo like a giant drum. The Enola Gay has dropped an atom bob over Hiroshima. Will Sachi ever see family again? (from the back of the book)

Review: The uncomplicated prose and vocabulary of this book belies the impact of the story and the emotion that it stirs. Yep uses simple words to describe this horrific event in World History. He doesn’t avoid the hard truths. He explains radiation and its effect on the human body. He speaks of the flames that consumed the acid rain that fell, the piled bodies of the dead, the loss, the horror, the death. The story starts with a fictional girl, Sachi, who is pulled from the real experience of several women.  The reader walks with her, through her day, through the fire, the burning rain, the loss of her father and sister, and her eventual travel to the US as one of the Hiroshima Maidens.
This is not a book for a faint-hearted child, but it is intended to child. The language is directed at elementary-age reader. This is a profound work, and worth reading. It is a necessary addition to a home-school library, and excellent as an introduction to this event in history. 

Bookmarks: 9 of 10

Awards: An ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; A Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies.

ISBN: 0-590-20833-0
Year Published: 1995
Date Finished: 9-4-2016
Pages: 56

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