The Last Paper Crane


This is the haunting story of a promise made long ago in extraordinary circumstances and the lifelong quest to fulfil it. It is set in both contemporary Japan and in 1945, on the day the nuclear bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

Mizuki is worried about her grandfather. He says that he has never got over something that happened in his past. Mizuki gently nudges him towards telling her what it is.  Back in 1945, in Hiroshima, Mizuki’s grandfather is a teenage boy out playing with his friend Hiro. Moments later the nuclear bomb is detonated.  We follow a searing account of the search for family and the devastation both human and physical.  The two boys search for and find Keiko, Hiro’s five-year-old sister. But Keiko is lost again when Mizuki’s grandfather has no option but to leave her while he goes for help.  He searches desperately in the aftermath of the bomb, leaving folded paper cranes everywhere a survivor could be seeking refuge and shelter.

This is a powerful novel that, despite its harrowing subject matter, has hope at its heart.  Kerry Drewery and her illustrator Natsko Seki use poetry, prose and illustration to tell their story in an effective and moving way.


The Last Paper Crane

Kerry Drewery, illustrated by Natsko Seki

(Hot Key)
The Last Paper Crane tells the story of a quest to fulfil a promise made.  A promise made on the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.  The boy who made the promise is now a grandfather and is still haunted by the burden he has been carrying for 60 years.
Using prose, poetry and evocative illustrations, this is a moving story of loss, memory and redemption.
Similar themes of redemption and guilt in the aftermath of war are dealt with in Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black and The Button War, also available in the Bookwagon shop.


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