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Hiroshima No Pika

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  295 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
A little girl and her parents are eating breakfast, and then it happened. "Hiroshima no Pika."
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published August 1st 1982 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1981)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 711)
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Casey Lawson
Jun 02, 2014 Casey Lawson rated it really liked it
I started out reading this book for my children's lit class at PSU. What first drew me to this book was the fact that it was about Hiroshima, and me being half japanese, I wanted to see what they wrote down. I mean other than japanese, japanese americans, and history enthusiast who knows a lot about what actually happened that day in Japan? I know a few people could tell me the name of the bomb that hit, and what day, but how did those people feel? what actually happened to these people?

It is an
Mar 06, 2009 Rachel rated it it was amazing
I will just include the review that I made for my class as it is more descriptive:

Hiroshima No Pika or the Flash of Hiroshima, is the true story about the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. The after-effects of the bomb is seen through the eyes a young Japanese family, in particular the seven year old daughter Mii. Ever year on August 6, the people of Hiroshima light lanterns to remember the dead and let them drift down the rivers that run through the city. The book warns
Jan 27, 2009 Becca rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
I had to read this Japanese picture book for my International Children's Literature class. It's like medicine: good for you, but not enjoyable. It's the story of a small family's experience when the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The pictures are very graphic, as the bomb did away with everyone's clothes. Not only is everyone naked, but the images are unnatural and warped. I am glad I read it, however, because I gained insight into the effects of the bomb on the citizens of Hiroshima. Reading ...more
that cute little red-eyed kitten
This little book is much better than my three stars express, it's just that it left me with a feeling of wrong, wrong, wrong. The format is perhaps for 3-5 year olds. But the contents is definitely not, it's the horrors of Hiroshima that day in August in 1945, and I wouldn't show that to such small children. Maybe it's a children's book for adults. I liked the illustrations. And the story is every bit as heartbreaking as the "Barefoot Gen" comics (about which I'm passionate by now), just almost ...more
Katie Carson
Nov 24, 2009 Katie Carson rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this international historical fiction picture book. Initially, my first reaction to the book was the consideration that the author was from Japan. I was instantly intrigued by her perspective on a tragedy that the Americans brought on the Japanese.
After my reading of the story, I read the author, Toshi Maruki, actually got the idea for this book from her interactions with a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing. The survivor had carried with her a feeling that when she shared her e
Roger DeBlanck
Feb 01, 2012 Roger DeBlanck rated it really liked it
This juvenile non-fiction picture book is intended for upper age elementary students. “A sudden, terrible light flashed all around. The light was bright orange—then white, like thousands of lightening bolts all striking at once.” That is the way Maruki describes the apocalyptic explosion. Quite possibly two of the most horrific events in the history of the world (the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki), Hiroshima No Pika takes on the subject by remembering what happened in gr ...more
Brandon Hardesty
Apr 29, 2016 Brandon Hardesty rated it really liked it
Hiroshima No Pika is a picture book for older children, maybe ages 8-12.

The book is an abstractly-illustrated depiction of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki nearing the end of World War II. It focuses on a young girl and her family escaping Hiroshima after the initial impact of the first bomb.

This is definitely geared towards older children. I was shocked at some of the graphic descriptions of events: people burning, collapsing in the streets, the main character's father slowly dying of c
Olivia Lagore
Hiroshima No Pika relates the experiences of a small family in Japan who struggle to survive during and in the aftermath of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima.
With the vibrant and powerful illustrations , reminiscent of Picasso's Guernica, the book effectively communicates the panic, pain, fear, exhaustion, and nightmarish experiences of the bombing. The books descriptions of the city before and after provide a stark contrast, moving from "...Hiroshima's seven rivers flowed quietly through the ci
Feb 03, 2014 Remi rated it it was amazing
I had chills and cried after reading this book and tried to imagine reading to a child of mine and the types of discussion that the graphic and disturbing images, I could only imagine, would generate. The emotion and pain conveyed by the highly expressionistic art in the book was haunting. This book would have to be read with a lot of explanation and forethought because of how devastating the subject matter truly is. I found myself questioning the actions that led up to the event and unnecessary ...more
Apr 07, 2014 Connie added it
Hiroshima No Pika is the account of the after effects of WWII and the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. It is and international picture book told through the Japanese author, Toshi Mauruki and has graphic and detailed pictures of the devastation that took place. The major themes are consequences of war, survival, and family.

An activity that I would use with this book is for students to do research to answer the following questions: 1-What is an atomic bomb and what damage can it cause? 2
May 07, 2014 Kellie rated it it was amazing
The first time I actually read this book was many years ago. It is based on the perspective of a young, Japanese girl on August 6, 1945, in Hiroshima, Japan. This was day that the first of two of the American's two atomic bombs that were dropped and the destruction which followed.
Heart-wrenching and brutal, it describes the painfully true consequences of innocent people in the aftermath of a nuclear attack. Even as hard as it is to read, I would recommend for adults and older children to(probabl
Erin Reilly-Sanders
It's much harder to say that I liked this one than it is to say that it is good. I don't think that anyone is supposed to like books on this subject. The illustrations are ugly (not necessarily a bad thing) and disturbing while the story is plain, to the point and often emotionless. There is certainly something to be said for illustrations that are so different that they demand that you think about them. The flowing forms of nude people really make you want to develop reasons for their portrayal ...more
Mar 05, 2011 L11_Laura rated it really liked it
This is a heart-wrenching book based on the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, on August 6th, 1945. The story begins by describing how the people of Hiroshima were prepared for any attacks from the United States, and then focuses on one family having breakfast the day the atomic bomb was dropped. How the family escaped, and found refuge by a river and watched as the city was engulfed in flames and destroyed. The author's descriptions make the scenes vivid, and you can almost feel what the ...more
May 22, 2010 Katina rated it really liked it
I had previously heard of this book but did not think it would be so poignant. The descriptions of the scenes, the imagery and artistry depicted, the colors used and of course the view point of Mii certainly changed my mind about a simple picture book, which this book is not just a simple picture book.

Mii, a 7 year old little girl, shares her minutes before the “flash” and the hours after with enough detail that it forces you to pause and attempt to image the devastation of what a little girl s
Oct 05, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Hiroshima No Pika is a tragic story about what a young girl and her parents go through the day the Atomic Bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Its intended audience is 10 and up. Teaching fifth grade, I can tell you this book would not be appropriate for 10-year-olds. I would say at least high school. The book's descriptions, about what the family saw and the lasting effects the bomb had on them, were devastating. The itensity of the descriptions were shocking and disturbing. The pictures after the bo ...more
Stacy Chrzastowski
Oct 22, 2012 Stacy Chrzastowski rated it liked it
Grade Level/Interest Level: grade 3-4
Reading Level: Lexile Adult Directed 620L level, 3rd-4th grade
Main Characters: Mii, Mother, Father
POV: third person omniscient narrator
Setting: Hiroshima

This story is about a young girl, her mother, and her father surviving the nuclear bomb in Hiroshima. The story starts off where their house explodes, they wake up, and the mother leads the daughter and carries the father who is badly burned to safety. They travel very far to escape the fire. They end up slee
Holly Smith
Sep 09, 2013 Holly Smith rated it liked it
This is another book based on World Ward Two. This point of view from someone in Japan during the bombing of Hiroshima. This story is based on a Wife/Mother who had the strength and courage to carry her wounded husband and pull her young daughter across multiple rivers trying to reach safety from the after math of "Little Boy". The illustrations in this book are very abstract, trying to show the horrific scene playing out in Hiroshima on that day, but still not wanting to be to graphic for a chi ...more
Glenn Jacobson
Apr 19, 2013 Glenn Jacobson rated it really liked it
Shelves: mc-literature
Without a doubt the most gripping and horrifying picture book I have ever read, Hiroshima No Pika, chronicles the explosion of the first of two atomic bombs dropped on Japan by the United States to end WWII. One moment Mii is happily eating sweet potatoes for breakfast with her family and the next moment they are fleeing their burning house after the massive explosion. The next day consists of running from fires past dead and dying people and animals. The images as well as the explanations are r ...more
Feb 23, 2010 Samantha rated it it was amazing
While this picture is accessible for a younger audience. I think the content and images would be more appropriate for mature middle school students and older. Upper elementary students could understand the book, but I think they would need to have a substantial discussion after to process the information and feelings related to the bombing of Hiroshima. I would use this book to introduce lessons about the war or the dropping of the bomb.

The book tells the story of a family the morning of and da
Sep 05, 2011 Heather rated it really liked it
1983 Batchelder Award Winner

This book has been controversial--many adults think that children are not ready for the disturbing subject matter or the horrible imagery. I think if I had children, I might read it to them depending on what it seemed like they could handle at the time.

In any case, it's an important subject for anyone to know about. I visited Hiroshima in 2005 and spent hours in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. After that experience, I honestly don't care what the reasons were for
Jun 10, 2013 Anna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-school
This book made me cry. Hiroshima No Pika is a story based on the true account a woman retold to the author, many years after the story took place. It is the story of the woman and her daughter and husband. Mii is the daughter's name, only seven years old when the bomb dropped on their home in Hiroshima. The woman carried her husband on her back and took her daughter by the hand as the fled from the terrible scene and scorching flames.

Years later, Mii never grew and remained the size
Mar 23, 2016 Joe rated it really liked it
A very touching story from a child’s point of view about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The illustrations might be a bit graphic for younger children since they are depicted as being naked because the clothes were burnt off. It does have a positive message “It Can’t Happen Again if nobody drops the bomb”
Lou Z
Jan 20, 2015 Lou Z rated it really liked it
Very interesting...All important events given in a simple way, so that everyone can understand the importance of the Hiroshima bombing. I recommend it to anyone that is really fond on learning what happened there( through peoples narrations)and dont get that sad and dipressed.
Shayne Cope
I liked that the book was told from the point of view of the little girl, Mii. This book really opened my eyes about Hiroshima and shows it in a true perspective. Though a sad and deep topic, important to teach kids. This makes the historical event relatable to kids.
Nov 18, 2011 Kelly rated it really liked it
Shelves: international
Hiroshima No Pika is a tragic story told by the perspective of a young girl who tells the story of the day the atomic bomb dropped onto the city of Hiroshima.

These pictures bring me into the book to feel as if I could be in that town during that time. They are shocking to a young audience due to the fact that some of the characters become naked, however, I think that once discussing this book the children can understand that it is because literally their clothes were burned off of them in this t
May 17, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing
I first read this book when I was doing my final for my class and I had to create a lesson plan for this story. Hiroshima is a sad but powerful story about a family who survived the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. This story gives a chilling but realistic account of what one family had to do, and experience in order to survive. The illustrations to this story are abstract yet very powerful, and make the words of the story that much more powerful. I would suggest that this book be used for grades fifth ...more
Dec 31, 2015 Sam rated it really liked it
A gripping account of one child's experience the day the bomb dropped in Hiroshima. End notes to flesh out the story but the text keeps a very straight forward timeline and accounting of the event. The pictures are, rightfully, harrowing.
Dione Basseri
So, for a quick look at the horrors of the atomic bomb, this is a good book. However, I've read the Barefoot Gen series, and far prefer that rendition of the event. Not only does it take a longer look at the bombings, but also shows more emotion from the protagonist. AND it's a first-hand recount, from an actual survivor of the bombing of Hiroshima.

However, if you need to cover the event quickly for a class, this is a short look and will certainly inspire horror. But, given the content (specific
Published: 1982, HarperCollins Publishers
Age: 12+

This story is told from the prospective of an innocent little girl named Mii, who will break your heart. As she and her mother and father are eating breakfast one morning, the atomic bomb is dropped in what the book calls, “the flash”. This is another example of the atrocities of war from the Japanese side. The story shows Mii and her mother trying to escape the devastation. Maruki doesn’t take a side, she just shows the aftermath of what happens
Ginnie Grant
Jun 03, 2015 Ginnie Grant rated it it was amazing
It seems strange subject matter for a children's book but it's heartbreaking, vivid, well written and it teaches empathy. those who don't remember history are doomed to repeat it after all
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