Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story

2016 Honorable Mention - Freeman Book Award for Young Adult / High School Literature 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. (Amazon)
Year of Publication
Number of Pages
144 pages
Carolrhoda Books
ISSN Number
Average: 5 (2 votes)


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Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story (A Story Full of Hardship and Heart)

Field of Interest/Specialty: Pre-K
Posted On: 12/11/2019

Name: Kimberly Adams
School: Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh
Grade Taught: second grade
Subjects Taught: language arts and social studies
Appropriate Grade Level for this Book: middle school and early high school
Sachiko, a Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story, is truly so much more than a story. The short and unemotional summary for this book is that it is about a young Japanese girl named Sachiko, her family, and the impact the atomic bomb had on their lives. This shot line of text does not do this empowering and well written tale any justice in any sense of the word. The author does an incredible job in describing Sachiko’s experience, so much so that the reader feels almost as if he or she was right there suffering with her. The text is not overly complex, but there is enough vivid vocabulary to provide detail for the events that occur. The photographs that are added in the book make the events of the past come to life. The book pauses from the story in places to provide specific historical facts. Along with presenting a clear picture of a difficult time in history, the author also focuses on Sachiko’s journey to find her inner strength to cope with the tragedy of her past and become a strong voice for world peace.
Rational for Appropriate Grade Level:
When looking at this book from a literacy teacher’s perspective, it is a fairly easy read. According to the Lexile Levels’ website, this book is scored at 850L and would best be suited for middle school readers or even ninth grade readers. Although logistically a sixth grader could read this book, it would be up to the individual educator to decide if this book is an appropriate read for that grade level.
Classroom Use:
This book could easily be used in a social studies or language arts classroom. It would be a great accompanying book to a history lesson on that particular time period. It would also be a good text to use for a class discussion. Discussion groups could be assigned, with each group having a different focus question or assignment while reading. Having the students write journal entries on specific parts of the book would also be a worthwhile activity. While I was reading this text, it evoked a lot of emotion within me, and students may enjoy writing about this experience. This is also a good text to help discuss topics such as world peace. Teachers can discuss the benefits of having world peace and can talk about ways other famous people such as writers, actors, politicians, and artists have also worked to try and promote world peace. While world peace is a global issue, it may benefit the students to think about how they can strive for school peace and what actions could be taken to promote it.

Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story [Book Review]

Field of Interest/Specialty: Japan
Posted On: 02/19/2019

Book Review: Stelson, C. (2016). Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books.
Review by: Aida Marissa Smith, American Public Librarian University System, Academic Librarian
Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story, written by Caren Stelson, is more than a touching survivor's story of strength in the face of overwhelming hardship. It's a compelling call for international peace. The book could be more aptly named, Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story and Her Call for World Peace.
The book interweaves Sachiko's story with relevant historical events and illustrations, in a way that compels the reader to side with non-violence and tolerance. The book is arranged chronologically. Each chapter begins with a descriptive title and a date. Corresponding historical information is found between the chapters. The historical information includes maps and historical photos.
The book ends with a call for peace. Once her parents passed away, Sachiko directed her life towards becoming an active advocate for world peace. She drew from her own life’s experiences and the works of Hellen Keller, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin L. King.
The book includes an index and extensive footnotes.
Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story is an excellent, straightforward, and touching introduction to this complicated topic. The book is written for a middle school audience. It would also be a good introduction to the topic for older students.