A Bowl Full of Peace by Caren Stetson, illustrated by Akira Kusaka

Published by Carolrhoda Books

A Bowl Full of Peace: A True Story: Stelson, Caren, Kusaka, Akira ...

Summary:  Sachiko’s family cherishes Grandmother’s bowl, which is always filled with food at dinnertime.  As the war drags on, food becomes scarcer; still, the family still gathers and offers thanks for what they have.  August 9, 1945, begins like other hot summer days for the family, but an atomic bomb dropped on their city of Nagasaki changes life forever.  Sachiko’s youngest sister dies, and slowly over the course of the next several years, her remaining siblings and father sicken and pass away. The family leaves for awhile after the bombing, and when they return, Sachiko’s father miraculously finds Grandmother’s bowl in the rubble.  Each year, the remaining family members fill the bowl with ice and watch it melt, remembering the suffering they endured. Finally, Sachiko is the only survivor. She continues to help others remember and work for peace, work that inspired Caren Stetson to write her award-winning book Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story in 2016 and this picture book for younger readers.  Includes author’s and illustrator’s notes; photographs; and a list of books for further reading.  40 pages; grades 2-5.

Pros:  This beautifully written and illustrated story deserves a place in any curriculum studying peace or the history of World War II.  Sachiko’s story makes the abstract concept of war more personal for kids.

Cons:  It is a tragic story to be sure, and one that kids may need some guidance to understand and process it.

If you would like to pre-order this book from the Odyssey Bookshop, click here.

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