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A Bowl Full of Peace A True Story

“She can no longer be silent about what happened to her.  She must tell her story.  The world must know that such a bomb can never be used again.”

A Bowl Full of Peace is a deeply moving nonfiction picture book.  Caren Stelson shares the story of Sachiko’s family who lived in Nagasaki, Japan before and after WW II.  The family suffered devastating losses as a result of the atomic bomb yet there remains a thread of hope in the book symbolized by Grandmother’s leaf-shaped bowl.  

Akira Kusaka’s beautiful illustrations help the reader to see how Sachiko’s family used the bowl as a focal point during their evening meals even as the world was changing all around them.  

I shared this book with a small group of 6th graders who are currently researching atomic bombs.  They verbalized that they were moved by the story.  During our discussion they shared that Caren Stelson’s story made the consequences of bombs more real.  Reading about a family’s first hand experience helped personalize the science behind what they were studying.  Sachiko’s story helped to focus their attention on the potentially devastating consequences that can come from war.  

By sharing this book we can all help to have Sachiko’s wish come true…

                  “What happened to me must never happen to you.”

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