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Eleanor Coerr (1922–2010)

Author of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

22+ Works 10,769 Members 146 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Eleanor Coerr was born in 1922 in Kamsack, Saskatchewan, Canada. Before becoming a children's book author, she was a newspaper reporter, an editor of a column for children, and taught children's literature at Monterey Peninsula College and creative writing at Chapman College in California. Her show more works include Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, Mieko and the Fifth Treasure, Sadako, and The Big Balloon Race. She died on November 22, 2010 at the age of 88. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Eleanor Coerr

Associated Works

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes [1991 film] — Original book — 7 copies


19th century (66) _Beginning Readers (49) American history (66) Asia (47) atomic bomb (156) biography (134) cancer (72) chapter book (114) children (95) children's (127) children's literature (54) death (96) early reader (96) easy reader (74) family (38) fiction (266) Hiroshima (194) historical (35) historical fiction (399) history (194) hope (36) hot air balloons (43) illness (37) Japan (374) Japanese (34) leukemia (136) Level 3 (47) multicultural (43) non-fiction (78) origami (119) peace (51) picture book (79) pioneers (47) reader (70) readers (43) Sonlight (58) to-read (47) war (68) westward expansion (40) WWII (244)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Coerr, Eleanor
Other names
COERR, Eleanor
Date of death
Burial location
Country (for map)
Kamsack, Saskatchewan, Canada
Places of residence
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada



Star and a half I guess. For whatever reason, I whipped through this thing, and not in a "this is so good that I can't put this down" way. I think I read it and was waiting for big, emotional moments and details to emerge that did not. Part of that is probably that I didn't read this book until now, until adulthood. I experienced it differently than someone who has read this as a kid would. It's written in such a way that I didn't feel there was any buildup, and there was no foreshadowing, but rather the book spoiled itself over and over again. I was annoyed and wondered at times, "So why keep reading? Idk, it's short and I'll keep going." The afterward, from the book, after the epilogue, is a solid ten ebook pages of warbling about the author herself and then twenty ebook pages of kids writing letters to her about their loved ones with cancer. I didn't mind the kids letters. They were sad and belonged. I was glad they were there. But for the ten pages of warbling about the author--why? I got bored reading about what I interpreted as bragging about her writing career.

This is only semi-related but: there's another white woman who wrote about Japanese culture. Wildly different because hers is YA historical fantasy, not a creative retelling of true events. The historical fantasy is "Little Sister" by Kara Dalkey and suuuuper different than this. She doesn't include acknowledgments at the back of the book. She talks about how she wrote about real people and real folklore, and provides a history lesson. She notes which books she read and research she did that helped her write the book. Here, this book...why did this author write about a Japanese girl who died in the forty's, and write the book in the late seventy's? Why was it significant to her? I was too bored and found the yammering too off-putting to read though.
I expected far, far more from this book than I actually got, especially since this book has stood the test of time and is taught in children's literature classes.
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iszevthere | 96 other reviews | Mar 1, 2024 |
A short, easy to read novella aimed at the elementary school child, which tells the true, and extremely sad story, of Sadako Sasaki, a child in Hiroshima who was a baby when the atomic bomb was dropped on the city. Full of life and happiness, she gets leukemia from the radiation she was exposed to. This tells the gut-wrenching story from when she first starts showing signs of illness, to her inevitable death.
fingerpost | 96 other reviews | Jul 1, 2023 |
This is the story of eleven-year-old Sadoko, a Japanese girl who had been exposed to the atomic bomb dropped on the city of Hiroshima, the city in which she lived when she was a young child. She survived that catastrophe but later went on to develop leukemia after having been exposed to the radiation of the bomb. The story starts with Sadoko being a healthy child who especially loved racing. As she became sick, the story told about her hospitalization and her realization that her disease was both painful and lethal. She tried to fight her disease by being optimistic and creating paper cranes with the hope that, if she were to make one thousand paper cranes, her wish to live would come true. That is not what happened.

Sadako's story is deeply emotional and beautifully told. It's a plea for friendship and peace. It ends with a telling of how this book came to be written as well as giving detailed instructions with diagrams for how to make a paper crane.
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SqueakyChu | 96 other reviews | Feb 10, 2023 |



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