The Last Cherry Blossom by Kathleen Burkinshaw

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Told with reverence and authenticity, Yuriko’s journey is inspired by the author’s mother’s real-life experiences growing up in Hiroshima and surviving that tragic day on Aug. 6, 1945. Tragedy and hope collide in this promising middle-grade debut.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Yuriko is happy growing up in Hiroshima when it's just her and Papa. But her aunt Kimiko and her cousin Genji are living with them now, and the family is only getting bigger with talk of a double marriage! And while things are changing at home, the world beyond their doors is even more unpredictable. World War II is coming to an end, and Japan's fate is not entirely clear, with any battle losses being hidden from its people. Yuriko is used to the sirens and air raid drills, but things start to feel more real when the neighbors who have left to fight stop coming home. When the atomic bomb hits Hiroshima, it's through Yuriko's twelve-year-old eyes that we witness the devastation and horror.

This is a story that offers young readers insight into how children lived during the war, while also introducing them to Japanese culture. Based loosely on author Kathleen Burkinshaw's mother's first-hand experience surviving the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, The Last Cherry Blossom hopes to warn readers of the immense damage nuclear war can bring, while reminding readers that the "enemy" in any war is often not so different from ourselves.
 

About Kathleen Burkinshaw

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Kathleen Burkinshaw wrote The Last Cherry Blossom based on her own mother’s story of growing up in Hiroshima during World War II. She was twelve years old when the bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945. Kathleen lives with her husband and daughter in Charlotte, North Carolina.
 
Published August 2, 2016 by Sky Pony Press. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, War, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Kirkus

Good
on May 14 2016

Told with reverence and authenticity, Yuriko’s journey is inspired by the author’s mother’s real-life experiences growing up in Hiroshima and surviving that tragic day on Aug. 6, 1945. Tragedy and hope collide in this promising middle-grade debut.

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