'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 27 April 2017

Review: Sachiko – A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story

Sachiko, a Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story has received no less than sixteen commendations and awards since its publication in November 2016.

However, I was still reluctant to pick it up. I've always been wary of stories about terrible wartime events.

But everything changed when five-year-old Sachiko sat on a worn woven tatami mat and stared at the solitary boiled egg on the family dining table. Would it be shared between the seven people sitting there? I was riveted.

Sachiko's recollections of wartime Nagasaki, the atomic bomb and its aftermath and what it was like to suffer  for years from radiation sickness and its after effects took me captive. I wanted desperately for there to be some small joy in her life and I needed to know how she survived.

Caren Stelson helped me understand so much more about what happened in Nagasaki in August 1945 than I ever have before. A lot of the details I learned, I might have preferred not to know, but Caren's ability to balance personal tragedy with international facts allowed me to find a balance and then hunger to know more.

Sachiko is a unique jewel, pitched perfectly for students as young as twelve years of age. Despite the simple language used, Sachiko confronts us with many brutal truths. She dares us to stay with her through it all.

I doubt I will ever forget Sachiko and her tragic forgotten life, one which the victors of World War II initially tried to hide. Her story is seared in my heart.

Sachiko: a must-have for anyone in search of the truth.

Title:  Sachiko – A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story
Author: Caren Stelson
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books, $27.99
Publication Date: 8 November 2016
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN: 9781467789035
For ages: 12 years +
Type: Middle Non-Fiction