Jennifer's Reviews > Hiroshima No Pika

Hiroshima No Pika by Toshi Maruki
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Oct 05, 11

bookshelves: international-literature

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 bomb hit were mostly nude drawings of people which might also not be appropriate for the younger kids. Despite all of that being said, if it were read by age appropriate children, then it is a very well-written book that will leave a lasting memory in your mind.
This book was originally written in Japanese, and the translator did a wonderful job of creating a story that flows together well. There were many foreign details in the story like the character's names, what and how they were eating breakfast, and the use of words like kimono. Although the translator decided to keep details like this in the story to help make it more authentic, they do not detract from the reader's attention. The translator also describes foreign details in a way that does not take away from the text. For example the explanation of radiation sickness is described through the fathers experience to help readers understand the severity it causes.
I do think that some background knowledge and scaffolding would be necessary for students before reading this book, but I do think this is a great example of a book that can provide an international perspective for our young readers. It is geared towards anyone wanting to learn more of what innocent people endured that day and through the rest of their lives. And I also believe that young readers will be able to empathize with the characters in the story. This is a great read for older students, but caution should be taken when reading.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Genie (last edited Oct 06, 2011 01:14PM) (new) - added it

Genie This sounds like a good book to pair with the story Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.


message 2: by Andrea (new) - added it

Andrea From your description, it seems like this book would be a great addition to the 8th grade Holocaust unit at my school. The social studies teachers get very graphic and dig deep into the Holocaust to ensure the students understand what happened. It seems as if this would add another powerful perspective to our curriculum! Thanks for sharing!


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