Kadohata, Cynthia

Book - 2004
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Chronicles the close friendship between two Japanese-American sisters growing up in rural Georgia during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and the despair when one sister becomes terminally ill. kira-kira (kee' ra kee' ra): glittering; shining Glittering. That's how Katie Takeshima's sister, Lynn, makes everything seem. The sky is kira-kira because its color is deep but see-through at the same time. The sea is kira-kira for the same reason. And so are people's eyes. When Katie and her family move from a Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, it's Lynn who explains to her why people stop them on the street to stare. And it's Lynn who, with her special way of viewing the world, teaches Katie to look beyond tomorrow. But when Lynn becomes desperately ill, and the whole family begins to fall apart, it is up to Katie to find a way to remind them all that there is always something glittering -- kira-kira -- in the future. Luminous in its persistence of love and hope, Kira-Kira is Cynthia Kadohata's stunning debut in middle-grade fiction.

Publisher: New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, c2004
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0689856393
Branch Call Number: FIC K
Characteristics: 244 p. ; 19 cm.


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Aug 05, 2013
  • violet_butterfly_1293 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I read it in fourth grade, and I loved it! Still one of my favorite books..

Mar 08, 2013

excellent book. i did it for my book report last year and got a hundred!

Oct 19, 2011
  • rain_blood_tears_ink rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

So sweet and lovely. Makes me cry every time. A wonderful story beautifully conveyed. What more can you ask for?

Oct 16, 2011
  • 13ites rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

So inspirational and beautiful! I read this book 3 times!!!

Mar 08, 2011
  • gpnb_ael rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

you have to read this book!

Nov 09, 2010
  • Tilda rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"Kira-kira" is told from the perspective of Katie Takeshima. It is about her memories of her Japanese-American family’s experience of living in the Georgia during the mid-1950s when she was between the ages of four and eleven. There is a lot of subtle insight into the society at the time but not in a way that obstructs how a young person like Katie would experience and described the world. This book is really funny at times – Katie has a great perspective on life - but there is also the sort of strange humour that a person can experience when events around them are confusing and desperate, even tragic. There are very tragic events in this story so get ready to be sad.

I’m glad that I didn’t post a review of this book immediately after reading it because it has taken me a little while to appreciate just how good it is. I’ve realized that many of the scenes in the book – even some of the really simple ones – have stayed with me very clearly and become more meaningful as I have turned them over in my mind. Katie’s voice is fully realized and consistent and her feelings about the events in her life are complex. This made the book seem very real and true to me.

I think that someone who likes realistic fiction that addresses serious topics about finding your way in the world, social justice and how families and individuals cope with tragedy would really enjoy this book. Some of the ideas are presented in a understated way so this might be a book for someone 12 and up who likes to really think about what they are reading. This is a beautiful book. Very “kira kira” (sparkling).

Oct 27, 2010
  • ReadingintheCorner rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This is a good story with good characters. It conveys emotion well.

Sep 15, 2010
  • sciullin rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

One of the most inspiring books I've ever read. This book shows loyalty, sisterly bonds and the tough times these sisters go through. Very well written.

Jul 10, 2010
  • books4ev rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I read this book last year. It was sad!! :(


Add Age Suitability

Apr 14, 2012

Indigo_Wombat_2 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Mar 10, 2012
  • Orange_Cat_155 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Orange_Cat_155 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Oct 27, 2010
  • ReadingintheCorner rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

ReadingintheCorner thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

May 31, 2008

lms thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


Add a Summary

May 31, 2008

"Katie Takeshima worships her older sister, Lynn who knows everything and takes care of Katie while their parents are working long hours in their small town in the late 1950s. It's Lynn who shows Katie the glittering beauty (kira-kira) of the stars which prepares Katie for the prejudice she will encounter as one of the few Japanese American kids school. But when Katie 10, Lynn 14, falls ill, and everything changes. Slowly the roles are reversed and Katie becomes the caregiver and does what Lynn has taught her." (Novelist Review)


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