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Soul Lanterns

Soul Lanterns


Soul Lanterns

About the Book

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.

Product Details

On sale: March 15, 2022
Age: 10 and up
Grade: Grades 6-8
Page count: 176 Pages
ISBN: 9780593174371
Reading level: Lexile: 850L | Fountas/Pinnell: Y

Author Bio

Born in Hiroshima, SHAW KUZKI is a second generation A-bomb survivor. She received her MA from Sophia University and is the author of a number of books in Japan. Shaw Kuzki lives in Kamakura, Japan. Soul Lanterns is her first novel translated for U.S. readers.


"Kuzki and translator Balistrieri create a compelling and age-appropriate account of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and its aftermath." —Booklist

This gut-wrenching tale of the Hiroshima bombing from a Japanese perspective is a tender and honest exploration of empathy in the aftermath of unimaginable pain and grief." —School Library Journal

"Kuzki, a the child of [Hiroshima] bombing survivors herself, presents an intimate look at the effects of the [Hiroshima] bomb a generation later, and how such an event has long-lasting impact on the community to which it happened." —The Bulletin 

"Even though they are fictional, the stories of loss, regret, loneliness, and grief are powerful and emotional." —Kirkus Reviews

"A tale about wartime trauma and how art and story can channel empathy, memory, and remembrance." —The Horn Book

SELECTION - 2021 Freeman Book Awards for Children’s and Young Adult’s Literature on East and South Asia.