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Soul Lanterns



by
Shaw Kuzki

Edition
Library edition with trade jacket added
Publisher
Penguin Random House
Imprint
Delacorte
ISBN
9780593174357
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Violence: War/Harsh Realities of War , Violence: Suicide , Violence: Graphic Descriptions
$20.22   $16.85
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The haunting and poignant story of a how a young Japanese girl’s understanding of the historic and tragic bombing of Hiroshima is transformed by a memorial lantern-floating ceremony.

Twelve-year-old Nozomi lives in the Japanese city of Hiroshima. She wasn’t even born when the bombing of Hiroshima took place. Every year Nozomi joins her family at the lantern-floating ceremony to honor those lost in the bombing. People write the names of their deceased loved ones along with messages of peace, on paper lanterns and set them afloat on the river. This year Nozomi realizes that her mother always releases one lantern with no name. She begins to ask questions, and when complicated stories of loss and loneliness unfold, Nozomi and her friends come up with a creative way to share their loved ones’ experiences. By opening people’s eyes to the struggles they all keep hidden, the project teaches the entire community new ways to show compassion.

Soul Lanterns is an honest exploration of what happened on August 6, 1945, and offers readers a glimpse not only into the rich cultural history of Japan but also into the intimate lives of those who recognize—better than most—the urgent need for peace.Author's note. “About the Lantern Floating Ceremony.”

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Violence: War/Harsh Realities of War , Violence: Suicide , Violence: Graphic Descriptions

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

176

Trim Size

8 3/10" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

0: points 0

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Aug 2021

Book Genres

Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction

Topics

Festivals. Atomic bombs. World War II (1939–1945). Hiroshima-shi, Japan. Bombardment of Hiroshima-shi, 1945. Twentieth-century Japanese history. Friendship. Memory. School projects. Translated works. Point of view.

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Horn Book

This is a moving, somber look at the 1945 Hiroshima nuclear bombing, seen mostly through the eyes of Hiroshima junior high school students—“second-generation atomic-bomb survivors”—as they attend the 1970 Peace Memorial ceremony and prepare for a cultural festival. Friends Nozomi, Shun, and Kozo have a vague idea of what happened during World War II, but they become more curious when Nozomi has an unsettling encounter with an elderly woman who seems to mistake her for someone else. Then their beloved art teacher, Mr. Yoshioka, a former soldier, leaves school due to long-term sickness possibly connected to radiation exposure. The students create an art exhibit highlighting Hiroshima’s past and present and interview relatives and neighbors about their experiences, with many of their stories interspersed throughout the text, turning the novel into a tale about wartime trauma and how art and story can channel empathy, memory, and remembrance. The book also touches upon the issue of complicity and regret when Mr. Yoshioka tells his students that the Japanese people were both aggressors and victims in the war and asks, “How…will we be able to make up for these crimes, to heal these wounds?” The answer, he says, is for future generations to learn from past mistakes, to never be bystanders, and to never forget. Appended with notes about the bombing of Hiroshima and the lantern floating ceremony. MICHELLE LEE

Praise & Reviews

Horn Book

This is a moving, somber look at the 1945 Hiroshima nuclear bombing, seen mostly through the eyes of Hiroshima junior high school students—“second-generation atomic-bomb survivors”—as they attend the 1970 Peace Memorial ceremony and prepare for a cultural festival. Friends Nozomi, Shun, and Kozo have a vague idea of what happened during World War II, but they become more curious when Nozomi has an unsettling encounter with an elderly woman who seems to mistake her for someone else. Then their beloved art teacher, Mr. Yoshioka, a former soldier, leaves school due to long-term sickness possibly connected to radiation exposure. The students create an art exhibit highlighting Hiroshima’s past and present and interview relatives and neighbors about their experiences, with many of their stories interspersed throughout the text, turning the novel into a tale about wartime trauma and how art and story can channel empathy, memory, and remembrance. The book also touches upon the issue of complicity and regret when Mr. Yoshioka tells his students that the Japanese people were both aggressors and victims in the war and asks, “How…will we be able to make up for these crimes, to heal these wounds?” The answer, he says, is for future generations to learn from past mistakes, to never be bystanders, and to never forget. Appended with notes about the bombing of Hiroshima and the lantern floating ceremony. MICHELLE LEE

Grades 5-8
Realistic Fiction Middle Plus
For Grades 5-8

Stories with strong, relatable characters that portray believable contemporary or historical real-life experiences.

14 books per Year
$235.90 per Year
Interests
Chapter Books/Novels,Diversity,Fiction,History,Realistic Fiction
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Grades 5-8
Realistic Fiction Middle Plus
14 books per Year
$235.90 per Year

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