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Colin Thomas

Toronto, Simon & Pierre, 1989. 84pp, paper, $9.95
ISBN 0-88924-189-9. CIP

Grades 5 to 9/Ages 10 to 14
Reviewed by Pat Bolger.

Volume 18 Number 3
1990 May

Commissioned and first performed by Green Thumb Theatre for Young People in Vancouver, Thomas' award-winning play has been presented in Canada, the United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Its sixteen brief scenes trace the stories of two twelve-year-olds - Sadako, the girl whose death by radiation-induced leukemia is commemorated in Hiroshima's monument of one thousand cranes, and Buddy, a Canadian boy whose life is being taken over by his fears of nuclear war.

Thomas has provided unusually full information for producing the play, including staging instructions, set diagram, and notes on costumes and properties. There are also directions for folding origami cranes and the address in Hiroshima to which they may be sent.

Mature pre-teens will find the play deeply involving, although less capable readers will be confused by the abrupt transitions between the plots. The photographs, which show Buddy and Sadako played by actors in their thirties, will also tend to turn off younger readers. The omission of part of an important speech in the first scene is a more serious matter; presumably, the publishers are providing an addendum.

Ideal for use with elementary students doing units on war and a worthwhile resource for theatre arts students at the secondary level.

Pat Bolger, Renfrew, Ont.
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