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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 ceremon 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.


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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 ceremon 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.

30 review for Soul Lanterns

  1. 4 out of 5

    Reading_ Tam_ Ishly

    A middle grade historical fiction telling about the horrifying consequences of the Hiroshima bombing. I would not recommend this book to everyone considering some of the triggering scenes described in the book. But also, this book is quite important considering the fact that the effects left after such an inhuman act still lives on making generations after generations suffer. I find the translation good but I feel the depth of the writing is missing. I don't know if it's the translation or the wri A middle grade historical fiction telling about the horrifying consequences of the Hiroshima bombing. I would not recommend this book to everyone considering some of the triggering scenes described in the book. But also, this book is quite important considering the fact that the effects left after such an inhuman act still lives on making generations after generations suffer. I find the translation good but I feel the depth of the writing is missing. I don't know if it's the translation or the writing or the fact that this book is written for middle grades. I wanted more of the characters especially of the main POV. A good short read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anandi Puritipati

    ARC provided by PRH international via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Soul Lanterns is a middlegrade novel set in the 1970s that talks about the effects the bombing of Hiroshima had on the people of the local community, and how it left scars so deep that even a quarter of a century down the line, people still felt the heat of the fire from the flash on their skin. The story follows three children Nozomi, Kozo and Shun, who decide to center the art project ARC provided by PRH international via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Soul Lanterns is a middlegrade novel set in the 1970s that talks about the effects the bombing of Hiroshima had on the people of the local community, and how it left scars so deep that even a quarter of a century down the line, people still felt the heat of the fire from the flash on their skin. The story follows three children Nozomi, Kozo and Shun, who decide to center the art project for their middle-school's art festival around the events of the day of the Hiroshima bombing. They reach out to members of their families and also close members of their community they notice a kind of hollowness in and begin collecting the stories of those lost and those left behind to relay in the form of art. I simply adored this book. As heartbreaking as it was to have to read about so much loss and grief, it was also heartwarming to see how the survivors of the bombing and their descendants took their grief and turned it into something beautiful, working towards making the world a safer place for their children. Also, the fact that this story is told from the perspective of children who weren't born when the bombing happened was actually something that made this book that much more powerful. It showed how deep the damage it wrought ran and how those born in the aftermath of the war were marked by it as well. I don't really know what else to say except that I think this can be a really impactful book for children! As important as it is to teach them about the bigger picture when it comes to history, they also need to know the smaller stories associated with tragedy of this kind. And a fictionalized account of those stories is not a perfect option, but it's definitely a place to start, to get them interested. The only reason I'm rating this book a 4 instead of a 5 is that I felt like some of the more beautiful parts of the writing got lost in translation? There was a flow to it, but it wasn't perfect, and that took me out of the book in places. Overall, this is a really short, really powerful narrative and I totally recommend you check it out! "The world is made up of little stories. Those modest daily lives, those lives that may seem insignificant, they give the world shape — that's what I believe."

  3. 5 out of 5

    booking our new escape ♡ [on hiatus]

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. ➳ four bright stars. (in this review i go through some of the contents of this novel so there are some spoilers, but nothing major, don’t worry!) “when you go visit the dead, sometimes you don’t want to meet the living.” this story is both heartbreaking and thought-provoking. everything is told from a child’s perspective. a couple of years have passed since the tragedy when a group of young students decides to do an art project on hiroshima, comparing the before and after. the disasters the war ➳ four bright stars. (in this review i go through some of the contents of this novel so there are some spoilers, but nothing major, don’t worry!) “when you go visit the dead, sometimes you don’t want to meet the living.” this story is both heartbreaking and thought-provoking. everything is told from a child’s perspective. a couple of years have passed since the tragedy when a group of young students decides to do an art project on hiroshima, comparing the before and after. the disasters the war brought are well-known by all students, even the younger ones. however, they never perceived the bombing of hiroshima as a tragedy that made hundreds of real people vanish. they never considered how much all the adults in their lives were deeply affected by it because it irreversibly destroyed the lives of the survivors. everything changes when their art teachers suddenly stops coming to school. all the students slowly realize the so-called “invisible enemy” is still lingering in the shadows, waiting for the right moment to strike every soul that managed to survive. ”it’s just like shun and nozomi said. even when you think you know someone, there are tons of things you have no idea about. it was the same with mr. yoshioka.” it’s a thought-provoking read because it raises many interesting questions to which can only follow difficult answers. first of all, it explores the way such tragic events are perceived by children. how should a grandmother tell their grandchild what has happened to their neighbor or to her own daughters? how can one try to recount the events without breaking down? how can one even put into words the immeasurable loss, pain, and grief they feel on a daily basis? after the tragedy, shun’s neighbor resorts to isolation. by breaking all the ties she has with society, she manages to keep going. she has no one by her side. until she starts sharing her story and what has happened to her. ”being utterly alone sounded awful.” the children come up with the idea to ask around about what happened and they slowly work their way through the project. it’s difficult for them to create art around a subject matter that is this devastating. but they try their best. they challenge themselves to actually listen to the stories their relatives recount. they try to transform the pain embedded there into something beautiful: a poem, a painting, a sculpture.. this novel stresses the importance of story-telling, an art we are slowly losing with the passing of time and with the rise of technology. here, the moments shared between the children and their relatives (parents, but mostly their grandparents) are moving, but also bittersweet. it’s as if by sharing with the younger generation their struggles, the elderly can rid themselves of some of their sufferings. stories are a powerful tool. they can help us feel connect with others and they can ultimately save us. the writing didn’t hook me completely, but maybe that’s a translation issue. either way, i did enjoy the contents of the novel itself and what it tried to do in less than two hundred pages. this is more of a 3.5 stars, but i hate half stars (and apparently goodreads does to lol) so i’m rounding this up to a four. content warnings: death of a loved one, war and its effects.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Netgalley Nozomi lives in the suburbs of Hiroshima in 1970. Every year, she goes with her family to a lantern lighting ceremony on the river that honors the people lost in "the flash", the bombing on August 6th. This year, she sees a woman staring at her. The woman asks how old she is (she's 12), and then how old her mother is. Nozomi knows that her father lost his first wife and two of his sisters, and her mother also lost people. One of the lanterns that her mother lights, how E ARC provided by Netgalley Nozomi lives in the suburbs of Hiroshima in 1970. Every year, she goes with her family to a lantern lighting ceremony on the river that honors the people lost in "the flash", the bombing on August 6th. This year, she sees a woman staring at her. The woman asks how old she is (she's 12), and then how old her mother is. Nozomi knows that her father lost his first wife and two of his sisters, and her mother also lost people. One of the lanterns that her mother lights, however, has no name on it, which makes her curious. A school project on "Hiroshima Then and Now" gets Nozomi and her friends thinking about the people around them who would have lived through the bombing. Nozomi hears a story about her art teacher, Mr. Yoshioka, who lost his girlfriend, and who found only a comb he had given her after the bombing. Shun finds out more about his uncommunicative neighbor, Mrs. Sudo, who lost her husband in the war and her young son in the bombing. Kozo learns about his aunt, Sumi, who was a teacher who tried to save six of her students. The more the students delve into the past, the most they are able to appreciate the horrible human toll that the war took on those around them. Nozomi even finds out about the woman who stared at her during the lantern ceremony, and is able to settle questions about a past relationship that her mother had. Mr. Yoshioka, who is suffering from tuberculosis and spends some time in a sanatorium, helps the students process the different stories they have heard and to understand the role that Japan played in World War II as well as the lingering effects that this history had on the community. Strengths: This was certainly a fresh and unusual historical perspective, and I love the fact that this was originally published in Japan! Such a window into how a population dealt with a horrific historical event. Setting this book in 1970, when survivors were still plentiful but when the average twelve year old would have felt very removed from the events was excellent. Having three friends at school working on a project, and asking people around them what they remember will resonate with my readers, who are often assigned projects where they have to ask adults about 9/11 or the Challenger Disaster. I very much enjoyed this one. Weaknesses: There were occasionally phrases in the translation that seemed too modern, but in general, this was an interesting and well done work. I would love to see more books by #ownvoices authors translated for the US middle grade market! There could have been a little more information, for US readers, about how Japan reacted to the bombings with calls for peace. What I really think: This is an essential purchase for middle school libraries, and a fantastic addition to books about the aftermath of WWII in Japan, such as Dicicco and Sasaki's The Complete Story of Sadako Sasaki , Yep's Hiroshima, Stelson,'s Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story, Burkinshaw's The Last Cherry Blossom, Smith,'s The Blossom and the Firefly , Napoli's In a Flash and Kadohata's A Place to Belong.

  5. 5 out of 5

    belle ☆ミ (thisbellereadstoo)

    rep: japanese cast trigger warning: loss of loved ones during war (recounted), mention of atomic bombings i cried so hard while reading soul lanterns. this was such a beautiful yet haunting story about the bombing of Hiroshima during WWII. as nozomi and her friends prepare for their art festival, they decided on a theme that shared the stories of those who were lost in the war. this started when nozomi realised that her mother always released a white lantern with no name during the lantern-floatin rep: japanese cast trigger warning: loss of loved ones during war (recounted), mention of atomic bombings i cried so hard while reading soul lanterns. this was such a beautiful yet haunting story about the bombing of Hiroshima during WWII. as nozomi and her friends prepare for their art festival, they decided on a theme that shared the stories of those who were lost in the war. this started when nozomi realised that her mother always released a white lantern with no name during the lantern-floating ceremony. drawing inspiration from their teachers, neighbours and family members, nozomi and her friends discover the pain and loneliness and regrets within each story. after that day, it seemed like everyone in Hiroshima was waiting for someone to come back home. though knowing that their loved ones might not return, holding onto a shred of hope is the only way the living could continue surviving. in soul lanterns, the detrimental consequences of the atomic bombs on generations of Japanese living in Hiroshima was highlighted via A-bomb sickness and deformities due to radiation. i'm so glad that this translation exists. it was heartbreaking.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Azu

    A beautiful and heartbreaking short story that offers a deeper insight into the life after the bombing of Hiroshima and of its consequences. This is an important book that represents the grief and tragedy that has gone down in history. The fact that the author is born in Hiroshima and is a 2nd generation survivor makes it so much more special. PS- do check the TW's if you consider reading it. A beautiful and heartbreaking short story that offers a deeper insight into the life after the bombing of Hiroshima and of its consequences. This is an important book that represents the grief and tragedy that has gone down in history. The fact that the author is born in Hiroshima and is a 2nd generation survivor makes it so much more special. PS- do check the TW's if you consider reading it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Zoë ☆

    This was a very moving middle grade story that will teach kids (or anyone who will read it) in a beautiful way about a tragic part of history. The fact that the author is actually born in Hiroshima and is a second-generation atomic bomb survivor makes it even more special to read. I have to admit I wasn’t that much of a fan of the writing somehow, but I can’t really place why. It could be because it’s translated, but I am not too sure about that. Overall though, definitely worth picking up!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ele

    If you get through this book without crying, you either have a superpower I do not possess or just lack a heart. Soul Lanterns a Japanese novel translated just earlier this year, telling of the twenty-fifth anniversary of bombing of Hiroshima. It follows a group of middle school students who learn the stories of various survivors. I would recommend, if handing this to a child, to be aware that there are some traumatic details; they are not detailed, but may still be too frightful if you do not e If you get through this book without crying, you either have a superpower I do not possess or just lack a heart. Soul Lanterns a Japanese novel translated just earlier this year, telling of the twenty-fifth anniversary of bombing of Hiroshima. It follows a group of middle school students who learn the stories of various survivors. I would recommend, if handing this to a child, to be aware that there are some traumatic details; they are not detailed, but may still be too frightful if you do not explain it beforehand. I would also like to note this book acknowledges that crimes committed were by Japan in China. As it is such a very controversial topic, I did not expect to see this. This is an anti-war story that shows the damage wreaked on the innocent.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Priscila Patatas

    This ARC was provided for review, but in no way affects the following unbiased and impartial review: • 5* This is a beautiful and heartbreaking short story from a Japanese author that offers a deeper insight into the life after the bombing of Hiroshima, of those left behind. Shows the loss, the neverending grief, the constant wait for a loved one that will never come back. It was one of the darkest days in human history that mustn't be repeated. I cannot recommend this book enough. This ARC was provided for review, but in no way affects the following unbiased and impartial review: • 5* This is a beautiful and heartbreaking short story from a Japanese author that offers a deeper insight into the life after the bombing of Hiroshima, of those left behind. Shows the loss, the neverending grief, the constant wait for a loved one that will never come back. It was one of the darkest days in human history that mustn't be repeated. I cannot recommend this book enough.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Antoinette

    Such a powerful and beautiful way to explore such a life altering event. Going on the journey with Nozomi and her friends to discover the stories of the bombing of Hiroshima and how it effected the lives of the survivors was impactful. The idea of an art show with the theme "Hiroshima Then and Now" was a great way to have students gather stories of the past. The many stories they heard and the family secrets uncovered definitely put into perspective the story of a healing city after such a trage Such a powerful and beautiful way to explore such a life altering event. Going on the journey with Nozomi and her friends to discover the stories of the bombing of Hiroshima and how it effected the lives of the survivors was impactful. The idea of an art show with the theme "Hiroshima Then and Now" was a great way to have students gather stories of the past. The many stories they heard and the family secrets uncovered definitely put into perspective the story of a healing city after such a tragedy. This is a book I would recommend for middle school classrooms. Powerful lessons about family, love, and grief. Thanks NetGalley!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens

    Even though the bombing of Hiroshima happened 25 years ago, 12-year-old Nozomi is discovering that the trauma of that day still lingers. At the annual Lantern Floating Ceremony to remember those who were killed, an encounter with a stranger ignites Nozomi's curiosity and inspires a class project to dig deeper into the past. Even though the bombing of Hiroshima happened 25 years ago, 12-year-old Nozomi is discovering that the trauma of that day still lingers. At the annual Lantern Floating Ceremony to remember those who were killed, an encounter with a stranger ignites Nozomi's curiosity and inspires a class project to dig deeper into the past.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Carter

    Thank you Penguin Random House International for providing an e-copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine and mine alone. 'Soul Lanterns' is a poignant novel of hope and acceptance. It is a truth that everyone should be aware of, written with such clarity and astonishing beauty! I am definitely looking forward for more of Shaw Kazki's work and I highly recommend you reading this book! Thank you Penguin Random House International for providing an e-copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine and mine alone. 'Soul Lanterns' is a poignant novel of hope and acceptance. It is a truth that everyone should be aware of, written with such clarity and astonishing beauty! I am definitely looking forward for more of Shaw Kazki's work and I highly recommend you reading this book!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    3.5/5 Sad and powerful, but I struggled with the writing style and didn't connect with the protagonists. 3.5/5 Sad and powerful, but I struggled with the writing style and didn't connect with the protagonists.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Balsamo

    Thank you PRH International for the review copy. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Soul Lanterns by Shaw Kuzki is a short yet powerful story about the healing journey of a community over the aftermath of a life-changing tragedy. Although the target audience seemed to gear toward younger ones, adults can also enjoy this novel. The story happened twenty-five years after the bombing of Hiroshima. It followed Nozomi, a twelve-year-old girl living in the city of Hiroshima. Every Thank you PRH International for the review copy. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Soul Lanterns by Shaw Kuzki is a short yet powerful story about the healing journey of a community over the aftermath of a life-changing tragedy. Although the target audience seemed to gear toward younger ones, adults can also enjoy this novel. The story happened twenty-five years after the bombing of Hiroshima. It followed Nozomi, a twelve-year-old girl living in the city of Hiroshima. Every year, her family joined the lantern-floating ceremony to honor the people lost in the bombing. Although she had a little idea about the importance of this ceremony, she couldn't quite grasp what it really meant to people, especially with her loved ones. Together with her two friends, they began to delve into the past by asking questions and stories that happened before the bombing. I knew that when I picked up this book, it dealt with some pretty heavy stuff. However, it didn't help prepare me to get quite emotional while reading the story. It had different stories of people's loss and regrets, and how these people carried these burdens in their lives. Hearing their story was just heart wrenching. I couldn't imagine the hurt they felt. It reminded me once again that life is unpredictable and everything can change in just a blink of an eye. We should start not taking things for granted, and we must treasure every moment we spend with our loved ones. Despite that, these heavy topics were handled beautifully and with hope. Learning that the author is born in Hiroshima and a second-generation atomic bomb survivor made this reading experience more real and special. This novel provided a clear and heartfelt perspective of how the bombing affected people's lives that couldn't be found in any history books. Overall, Soul Lanterns is short, fast-paced novel that is definitely worth the read. 5/5 stars!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Julie Overpeck aka Mrs. O's Library

    The story begins in 1970, 25 years after the US dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. Nozomi notices that her mother always releases a white lantern with no name during the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Lantern Ceremony. She wonders about this, and when the time comes for her and her schoolmates to put on the annual art festival, they decide on the theme “Hiroshima: Before and After.” They interview survivors of the bombing and document their stories through art. During the interviews, they learn hear The story begins in 1970, 25 years after the US dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. Nozomi notices that her mother always releases a white lantern with no name during the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Lantern Ceremony. She wonders about this, and when the time comes for her and her schoolmates to put on the annual art festival, they decide on the theme “Hiroshima: Before and After.” They interview survivors of the bombing and document their stories through art. During the interviews, they learn heartbreaking stories that have defined their loved ones’ lives, and theirs. . What a sobering way to mark time--before and after the deployment of a nuclear bomb. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Lantern Ceremony and Peace Message Lantern Floating Ceremony still takes place every August 6. The visual is stunning, its reason is gut-wrenching. The book was originally published in Japanese. The English translation was released this week. I have worked hard over the last few years to diversify my libraries because books build bridges of understanding and empathy. To say we in the US need this now is an understatement. Thank you to @randomhousekids and @netgalley for a digital review copy. All opinions are my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This was such a beautiful and nuanced exploration of trauma showing how the Hiroshima bombing still resonates with those in area even a generation later. Dealing with the collective trauma of an entire nature through the young protagonists this book had so much heart packed in it. It even made me cry at least twice hearing some of the stories of those who survived and even more of those who didn't. If anything this book made me want to go and tell my loved ones that they mean the world to me and This was such a beautiful and nuanced exploration of trauma showing how the Hiroshima bombing still resonates with those in area even a generation later. Dealing with the collective trauma of an entire nature through the young protagonists this book had so much heart packed in it. It even made me cry at least twice hearing some of the stories of those who survived and even more of those who didn't. If anything this book made me want to go and tell my loved ones that they mean the world to me and I know it made me never want to leave a conversation on bad terms because you never know when it'll be your last interaction with someone.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    This thought provoking and moving tale, written in the narrative of middle school children, brings to light the idea that many children in the younger generation know about the bombing or Hiroshima, but don't fully understand what was lost, or left behind. Kuzki does an excellent job of giving a voice to the people lost during this time, in such a way that a middle school child could understand it. The use of the different characters "telling" the stories that they hear from families and friends This thought provoking and moving tale, written in the narrative of middle school children, brings to light the idea that many children in the younger generation know about the bombing or Hiroshima, but don't fully understand what was lost, or left behind. Kuzki does an excellent job of giving a voice to the people lost during this time, in such a way that a middle school child could understand it. The use of the different characters "telling" the stories that they hear from families and friends allows the reader to see different viewpoints of this important topic. The characters are all well developed and when you finish, the book leaves you wanting more.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Megan Mann

    This was really something. We know the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, but we don’t hear enough of that side of it; of people wondering if their loved one was injured, dead, or was safe. How that sort of thinking still lingers. Is my loved one dead or will they say they got to safety and come home one day? These “little stories” make up a bigger story and it’s an important one for us to read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Leigh

    I received this book from the publisher through SLJ's Middle Grade Magic event. I really enjoyed this work. Hiroshima, though unquestionably one of the most tragic events in history, is one I have read little about. I loved that this was framed in a way that told of what happened as it related to those who were left behind. I received this book from the publisher through SLJ's Middle Grade Magic event. I really enjoyed this work. Hiroshima, though unquestionably one of the most tragic events in history, is one I have read little about. I loved that this was framed in a way that told of what happened as it related to those who were left behind.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Drew Austen

    What a heart-wrenching, beautiful narrative! The horrid events that occurred in Hiroshima, along with the fallout, are usually only experienced through a short section in a Social Studies textbook. Soul Lanterns provides a look at the memories of people who were alive during the bombing of Hiroshima, as well how kids are experiencing the aftermath. Every one had their own story or tragedy, and seeing in through the series of interviews for the art exhibition of kids was really moving. I would lo What a heart-wrenching, beautiful narrative! The horrid events that occurred in Hiroshima, along with the fallout, are usually only experienced through a short section in a Social Studies textbook. Soul Lanterns provides a look at the memories of people who were alive during the bombing of Hiroshima, as well how kids are experiencing the aftermath. Every one had their own story or tragedy, and seeing in through the series of interviews for the art exhibition of kids was really moving. I would love to add this to my curriculum!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lizanne Johnson

    Every year on August 6th Nozomi and her family release red and green paper lanterns into the river in remembrance of family members who died because of the atomic bomb. When Nozomi notices her mother release a white lantern with no name inscribed on it, she becomes determined to uncover the story. Soon after the ceremony, she visits the cemetery with her family.when she notices her beloved art teacher visiting another grave, she wants to learn his story too. As Nozomi delves into the two stories Every year on August 6th Nozomi and her family release red and green paper lanterns into the river in remembrance of family members who died because of the atomic bomb. When Nozomi notices her mother release a white lantern with no name inscribed on it, she becomes determined to uncover the story. Soon after the ceremony, she visits the cemetery with her family.when she notices her beloved art teacher visiting another grave, she wants to learn his story too. As Nozomi delves into the two stories, she learns about the after effects of the atomic bomb that still persist today. I will be happy to recommend this book to my middle school students. I will suggest the sixth graders read this book for their social issues book club in LA classes. I can envision rich discussions. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this arc in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    I received a temporary digital advanced copy of Soul Lanterns by Shaw Kuzki from NetGalley, Delacorte Press, and the author in exchange for an honest review. Twenty-five years after the bombing of Hiroshima, twelve-year-old Nozomi and her two friends start a schoolwide art project on Hiroshima then and now. They have learned about the bombing every year in school; however, Nozomi and her friends know very little about their family's stories. They begin to ask about the family members lost in the I received a temporary digital advanced copy of Soul Lanterns by Shaw Kuzki from NetGalley, Delacorte Press, and the author in exchange for an honest review. Twenty-five years after the bombing of Hiroshima, twelve-year-old Nozomi and her two friends start a schoolwide art project on Hiroshima then and now. They have learned about the bombing every year in school; however, Nozomi and her friends know very little about their family's stories. They begin to ask about the family members lost in the flash after realizing how little they know. Soul Lanterns is an amazing novel for middle schoolers that provides the Japanese perspective of Hiroshima post WWII. The novel was comprehensive, and although the material was extremely sad, it wasn't overwhelmingly so. There is a hopeful message throughout the novel and encourages students to not be bystanders. I highly recommend Soul Lanterns to any student and to any teacher interested in supplementing their WWII unit with a Japanese perspective.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Katelyn Spedden

    *I received a free ARC of this novel from the publisher and Edelweiss Plus in exchange for an honest review* When I picked up Soul Lanterns I knew it was going to be a book that dealt with something difficult in a beautiful way. I think most people, myself included, don't think of the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki the way that the people in those areas do. We aren't taught about it the same way in school and it's all about what happened when the bombs dropped and not so much how people deal *I received a free ARC of this novel from the publisher and Edelweiss Plus in exchange for an honest review* When I picked up Soul Lanterns I knew it was going to be a book that dealt with something difficult in a beautiful way. I think most people, myself included, don't think of the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki the way that the people in those areas do. We aren't taught about it the same way in school and it's all about what happened when the bombs dropped and not so much how people dealt with loss afterwards. Soul Lanterns does that. It takes place twenty-five years after the bombing of Hiroshima and follows different peoples stories of loss and how their lives were changed on August 6, 1945 and how they are still dealing with the aftermath of it a quarter century later. When I picked up this book I honestly didn't expect something geared towards Middle Grade readers to hit me the way it did and honestly I think I held it together pretty well until Sumiko's story. It didn't matter that this was a fictionalized story reading about a woman surrounded by six children and holding them close when they all perished isn't something you can just read with no reaction. Shaw Kuzki wrote an amazing book that will teach young readers about the aftermath of the atomic bombs in ways that they wont learn in school. It's not something that they will see in a history book. Soul Lanterns shows how people dealt the day after, the week after, and twenty-five years after hundreds of thousands of people were killed. It truly was an amazing book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lisa McDonald

    Soul Lanterns by Shaw Kuzki was a haunting and powerful book that will stick with me for a long time. Translated from Japanese, it tells the story of twelve-year-old Nozomi, who lives in Hiroshima 25 years after the United States dropped an atomic bomb on it. Every year on the anniversary of the bomb, the community releases paper lanterns with messages of peace or names of deceased loved one into a river. This year, Nozomi notices her mother releasing a lantern with no name and it piques her cur Soul Lanterns by Shaw Kuzki was a haunting and powerful book that will stick with me for a long time. Translated from Japanese, it tells the story of twelve-year-old Nozomi, who lives in Hiroshima 25 years after the United States dropped an atomic bomb on it. Every year on the anniversary of the bomb, the community releases paper lanterns with messages of peace or names of deceased loved one into a river. This year, Nozomi notices her mother releasing a lantern with no name and it piques her curiosity. This event, among others, inspire Nozomi and her friends, to delve into the past and ask neighbors and relatives their stories about loved ones lost in the bombing. Despite the intensity of the subject, the topic is handled with lightness and gentleness so it doesn't get too depressing or graphic. I highly recommend this book for grades 4-7.

  25. 5 out of 5

    ThatBookGal

    Going into the book, I didn't realise that the author was a second generation survivor themselves, and I think that made the book all the more poignant and valid. I did struggle a little with the way its written, but as others have commented, I think that's largely due to it being a translation. This is an excellent, matter of fact way of presenting information about a terrible point in history, and gives a brief overview to younger readers of what happened on that day. Its a quick read, that is Going into the book, I didn't realise that the author was a second generation survivor themselves, and I think that made the book all the more poignant and valid. I did struggle a little with the way its written, but as others have commented, I think that's largely due to it being a translation. This is an excellent, matter of fact way of presenting information about a terrible point in history, and gives a brief overview to younger readers of what happened on that day. Its a quick read, that is at times very harrowing. I personally loved learning about the lanterns, what a lovely way to remember the innocent people who lost their lives in such an awful way. Overall a decent middle grade novel, that may be difficult for some to read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Malissa

    The translation was lacking, and that pains me because I know the potential was there for this.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Rozen-wheeler

    I could not imagine how terrible the bombing of Hiroshima was. If I visited Japan during that era, I would be shocked at the remains of many men, women and children but wouldn't want to leave. I could not imagine how terrible the bombing of Hiroshima was. If I visited Japan during that era, I would be shocked at the remains of many men, women and children but wouldn't want to leave.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Terri Faulkner

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mompop

  30. 5 out of 5

    Merricat

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