Jennifer Lavoie's Reviews > Hiroshima

Hiroshima by John Hersey
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Jan 20, 12

it was amazing
bookshelves: books-to-teach, history
Read from January 05, 2011 to January 20, 2012 — I own a copy

Maybe I am biased, but this book was fantastic. When I learned that it had been dropped to the eighth grade level I was ecstatic. I have been to Japan twice, and Hiroshima is one of the places that I visited both times. It is a beautiful city with a rich history, and this book does an excellent job at showing the horrors of the events that happened.

As nonfiction, it was interesting, and students were not used to reading a nonfiction book. Though short, a lot of the language needs to be discussed and new reading skills applied to understand it. Those who enjoy history will enjoy this book. Showing pictures of the sites helps students visualize what is being discussed, and pairing it with a documentary will further engage them.

*Updated 1/20/12*

Read this again, this time with my eighth graders this year. I read the entire book to them this time, and it worked really well. They followed along and I was able to dramatize it the way I wanted to. We had a lot of discussion because of the book, and often the students were able to stop me and ask questions as we approached them. Also, towards the end, students would gasp in shock over something or question the characters motives.

I feel like this year was the best year for reading the book in terms of the class reception of it. They were horrified yet fascinated, and all students had interesting questions and comments to make on all aspects. Such as Dr. Fujii and Mr. Tanimoto. One student said that Fujii seemed arrogant before the bomb, so it didn't surprise them when he was the same way after, and Mr. Tanimoto was more humble and thus his motives for getting money were different.

Next week we view the BBC documentary and read a few more articles before the students write their "Right or Wrong" essay.

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Reading Progress

01/05/2011 page 17

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