Grade Level: 5 – 8
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Sky Pony Press (August 2, 2016)
Have you ever read a book that guts you from beginning to end and then you try to write a review but you simply can’t get your thoughts in order? Well The Last Cherry Blossom by Kathleen Burkinshaw is that book. Told through the eyes of her mother as a young girl living in Japan during the WWII, Yuriko take us through her daily life. From the simple things in family life (such as her love/hate relationship with her annoying cousin Genji) to her love and devotion for her papa. We the readers get to live through the nervousness and uncertainty of air raids. Not knowing when the next siren will be the one that ends it all.
The Last Cherry Blossom is a poignant and beautiful read that I recommend for all ages. Young and old. Quite honestly this books should be mandatory reading in all classes. To know the devastation and sadness that is the product of war. Yes the events of Hiroshima happened over 70 years ago but the wounds are still deep even if the US and Japan have made great strides to repair their relationship.
Sadly, in 2016, there are children like Yuriko that are living with the ever present danger of not knowing if this will be their last day on earth. If this day is the day that a drone will do an air strike on their school or hospital because of some technical “mistake.” Or because of some terrorist wanting to make a statement.
War is a greedy and nasty business that no child should have to live through and reading The Last Cherry Blossom broke my heart because it made me realize how lucky I am. How lucky my family is that we didn’t have to live in constant fear that our home would be decimated by a bomb or an airstrike.
This book will break your heart but it will also get many thought provoking conversations started. Yes it might read young but don’t let that stop from getting enthralled by Yuriko’s story and author Kathleen Burkinshaw beautiful and engaging writing.
I can’t say this enough but I highly, highly recommend The Last Cherry Blossom.
As always thanks for stopping by <3
I have to give a big thanks to Sky Pony Press Publishing for sending me a copy of this gorgeous book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.