“Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story” By Caren Stelson

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. This special book offers readers a remarkable new perspective on the final moments of World War II, the fifty years that followed, and the courage it took for one woman to tell her story of nuclear war and peace. Awarded the 2017 Robert F. Sibert Honor Award for Information Books, ALSC and 2017 Bank Street College Best Children’s Books of the Year List.

In order to write Sachiko, Caren Stelson conducted extensive interviews with Sachiko Yasui, and chronicled her long journey toward peace. On top of having a Master’s Degree in Education and MFA in Writing, Stelson’s extensive experience in education also includes being a reading specialist, a classroom teacher, a writer and editor for classroom curriculum materials, an educational software designer, a writer-in-residence, and an author. All these jobs demanded imagination, writing skills, and patience with the creative process. Currently, Stelson resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Find out more about Caren Stelson’s work at carenstelson.com/about.

 

About the Author

In order to write Sachiko, Caren Stelson conducted extensive interviews with Sachiko Yasui, and chronicled her long journey toward peace. On top of having a Master’s Degree in Education and MFA in Writing, Stelson’s extensive experience in education also includes being a reading specialist, a classroom teacher, a writer and editor for classroom curriculum materials, an educational software designer, a writer-in-residence, and an author. All these jobs demanded imagination, writing skills, and patience with the creative process. Currently, Stelson resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Find out more about Caren Stelson’s work at carenstelson.com/about.

Tips for Read Aloud

  • Begin with a discussion of Japan, its location, culture, and resources. Use the insides cover and page 21 in Sachiko to point out important cities. Ask students to complete K-W-L charts.
  • As you progress through the book, allow students to choose an appropriate topic of interest from the index. Ask students to thoroughly read the pages covering their topic as a research tool in writing a report.
  • In small group discussion, encourage the students to include their opinions and taking multiple perspectives. Assign students to groups based on their chosen topic area to foster similarity or connected ideas. Have student-to-student feedback slips at each group!
  • Small groups are also a great time for read-alouds among students with similar interest areas.

Additional Resources

  • The author gathered information by interviewing Sachiko Yasui herself in Nagasaki. Encourage students to interview their parents or grandparents about a major historical event they remember. Prepare students with interviewing questions.
  • With older students, discuss how wars and access to atomic bombs have impacted the world recently. Assess the student’s response and note connections to the book. End by discussing safety plans and encourage these conversations to be taken home.
  • Continue your formative assessment work for each student by assigning completion of exit slips and gather the feedback about the student’s learning.

But this Book!

Information Sheet

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