The novel Sadako by Eleanor Coerr was about a Japanese girl named Sadako Sasaki who lived in Hiroshima during World War II. Several years later, it is discovered that she has leukemia. While in the hospital Chizuko brings her a golden paper crane and tells her the legend of the crane.
Ten years after the bombing, Sadako died from leukemia caused by radiation from the blast. Before she died, however, Sadako folded almost a thousand origami paper cranes.
Sadako began her project because of a legend that said anyone who folded a thousand paper cranes would be granted a wish. She wished to healthy again so that she could run and play like before, and she pursued her goal with such determination that, although she died of her disease, she succeeded in transforming the paper crane into a symbol of peace for children all over the world.
This unit on Sadako will help you learn more about Hiroshima, the bomb, World War II, and how to make paper cranes.