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Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
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Kira-Kira (2004)

by Cynthia Kadohata

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2,2061172,943 (3.78)31
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    A Step From Heaven by An Na (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: A beautiful realistic fiction novel about a young girl growing up to be hardened young women and the hardships, trials and tribulations she overcomes in the process.
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Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
This is one of the best novels that I've read this year. At first, all I could think about was "kwaii." The first part of the story is nothing but cute, not the clinging, annoying kind of in-your-face cute either. It's cute as endearing. Then the novel turns less playful as events unfold. When the novel turns, your heart turns too. Ms. Kadohata has made her characters so important to you that you feel anguish as life's inevitability shows itself. In the end, you survive and are thankful for "tender mercies."
  edwardcandler | Apr 8, 2017 |
The meaning and message behind this book that no matter what happens to someone that means a lot to you, you will always feel a bond and connection with them. I enjoyed how the author incorporated how much the family values their culture even though they live in the US. For example, in chapter 2 page 15, Katsuhisa, who is the uncle of Lynn and Katie, tells the girls about the “kimono sleeve” in the constellations which is equivalent to the Orion belt. The author not only tells a story, but provides information to the reader about the Japanese culture. For example, I learned that Japanese traditional tea is similar to that of America’s green tea except it is mixed with rice. I also liked how the author incorporated events that occurred during the 1950’s into the fictional story. For example, in chapter 3 page 26 when the girls arrive in Georgia, they are perplexed when they notice in a restaurant that whites and blacks are segregated, which coincides with the mindset of that time. I also loved how the author described the relationship between the two girls and how he developed the characters. Katie worships Lynn but recognizes what Katie does for her. For example, when Lynn grabbed an aggressive dog’s tail away from Katie, the dog turned and attacked Lynn which led Katie to throw a bottle at it. Rather than telling Katie that she saved her, Lynn actually acknowledged that it was her sister that saved the day. This relationship and bond makes the events that happen in the book that much harder to cope with. ( )
  thodge3 | Apr 6, 2017 |
The story is told through the point of view of a eleven year old, Katie Takeshima. In one part of the book, Katie and her friends/cousins are playing a game of Hunted and Hunter and when it was Katie's turn to be the Hunter, she said, "We didn't chase them. Instead, we returned to camp to play cards in our tent. We were so funny! When the boys finally figured out where we were, they refused to speak to us. So we refused to speak to them. David said, 'How can you not speak to us when you're the ones who played the trick?' But we didn't answer because we weren't speaking to them!' (pg. 190)" While the story was told through Katie, the main idea was about a particular part of her life with her older sister and once you find that out, the story changes for the reader. It took a while to like this book but once Lynn started getting sick and becoming the spotlight of the family, the story finally had a purpose. ( )
  mdelga3 | Mar 27, 2017 |
Katie Takeshima moves from Iowa to Georgia with her family in the 1950s when their Asian grocery store goes under, so her parents can find work at a chicken plant. She and her older sister Lynn grow and build community, while Lynn's bouts of weakness grow increasingly frequent. We eventually learn Lynn has lymphoma, and though this is the undercurrent throughout the book that ties the journey together, the book is much more than that undercurrent.

I cried repeatedly. While this book isn't my usual fare, it is well written and a breathing slice of life, and the details about her parents' working lives and racism that Katie accepts have Historical Weight to an adult observer. For me, this is a nice continuation to having recently finished The Buddha in the Attic, which was about the experience of Japanese immigrants to the USA until the mid-1940s. ( )
  pammab | Dec 25, 2016 |
Narrator Katie idolized her older sister, Lynn. Her story covers several years in the life of her family, Japanese Americans, trying to get by in Georgia during the 1950s. Life is difficult for them at its best. But then Lynn becomes very sick. Their parents work harder and longer to try to keep up with the medical bills.
While this is the major theme of the book, there are many many little sub-plots as well. Growing up, friendships, boys, their toddler brother getting seriously injured, union activity at their mother's factory, a peculiar uncle...
Much ground is covered in a fairly short novel, and it is beautiful. ( )
  fingerpost | Nov 7, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
Have you ever been treated differently because of your heritage? Did your best friend/sister die when you were young? In this book a little girl named Katie goes through all of this. Kira-Kira is a beautiful piece of writing. The author Cynthia Kadohata did an amazing job on this book. She is an awesome writer. I love how it is from the perspective of a nine year old because it shows us what life growing up in that time was like for her

Kira-Kira is a beautiful piece of writing. The book takes place in the 1950’s in Georgia right after the war, so they are treated differently because they are Japanese. The protagonist of the story is Lynn. Lynn is smart and nice and thinks everything is beautiful. Katie is her sister. Katie is a helping bigger sister to her brother Sammy. When Katie’s mom is working she took care of her brother.

In Kira-Kira they are being treated differently. Katie’s whole family is affected. When they are getting a hotel room the lady was just being mean to them because they were Japanese.

In Kira-Kira the resolution was they had to deal with being treated differently. In the story the protagonist learned not to give up. Lynn kept on fighting until she couldn’t handle it. I learned how hard it was to grow up in the 1950’s

In conclusion I like the book Kira-Kira and I give it a 4 out of 5. The bad part about it was it was predictable. This book reminds me of when I was learning about Human rights. One strength of the book is when Katie and Lynn tried to help their parent save up money. One of the weakness when Lynn had a friend and had no time for Katie. Well I hope you like my opinion on Kira-Kira.
added by Allisen | editMs. Moore's Class, Allie (Apr 11, 2014)
 
Angie Rogers (Children's Literature)
This is the story of two Japanese-American sisters who move to rural Georgia from Iowa so that their parents can earn a better living. Katie, the younger sister from whose point of view the story is told, thinks that her sister Lynn is a genius who can do anything. As the story progresses and it becomes clear that the better living being earned by the parents means that they must work impossible schedules, it also becomes apparent that something is wrong with Lynn, who is often tired and sick. Lynn's greatest dream is for the family to move from the tiny apartment in which they live into their own house. When her parents, who never borrow money and do not trust banks, finally decide to get a loan to get Lynn's house, it is clear that her sickness must be serious. Finally, Katie's father tells her that Lynn has lymphoma. When Lynn finally dies, Katie assumes her role of keeping the family's dreams alive, despite the difficulties they are having emotionally and financially. This book would be especially good for students studying the aftermath of World War II on Japanese Americans. In addition, it would be excellent reading material for any student going through the loss of a family member. 2004, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, $15.95. Ages 11 up.

added by kthomp25 | editChildren's Literature, Angie Rogers
 
Eileen Kuhl (VOYA, August 2004 (Vol. 27, No. 3))
Kadohata's touching story of sibling devotion is a glittering tale, as its Japanese title suggests. Set in 1950s rural Georgia, it recounts the story of a Japanese American family struggling against prejudice and exhausting labor at a poultry factory in order to build a rewarding life. Told from the perspective of young Katie from the age of five through twelve years old, the story offers her humorous and innocent observations of her close family and the important life lessons that she learns from her adored older sister, Lynn, who has encouraged Katie to dream and to appreciate everyday things. The inseparable sisters plan to spend their futures always close together; however, everything changes when Lynn gets sick and is diagnosed with lymphoma. The prolonged illness overwhelms the emotionally devastated family. Katie's mother and father become distant and impatient under the weight of the medical bills that threaten their home, and Katie, who had always been cared for by her older sister, must now become the caretaker, causing bitterness, anger, and confusion for the first time. Middle school girls will relate to Katie, her heartfelt everyday concerns, and her agony when Lynn dies. In the end, she tries to honor her sister's memory through the valuable lessons that Lynn taught her and by always looking for the glitter, the kira-kira in life. Readers who enjoyed Sis Deans's Everyday and All the Time (Henry Holt, 2003/VOYA October 2003) or The Letters by Kazumi Yumoto (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2002/VOYA October 2002) will appreciate this lyrical story of coping with death. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2004, Atheneum/S & S, 244p., $15.95. Ages 11 to 14.

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added by kthomp25 | editVOYA,, Eileen Kuhl
 
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Dedication
For Kim, For Stan, And for Sara
First words
My sister, Lynn, taught me my first word: kira-kira.
Quotations
By the time I was six and ready to start school, my accent had already become very Southern.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0689856407, Paperback)

In Cynthia Kadohata's lively, lovely, funny and sad novel -- winner of the 2005 Newbery Medal -- the Japanese-American Takeshima family moves from Iowa to Georgia in the 1950s when Katie, the narrator, is just in kindergarten. Though her parents endure grueling conditions and impossible hours in the non-unionized poultry plant and hatchery where they work, they somehow manage to create a loving, stable home for their three children: Lynn, Katie, and Sammy. Katie's trust in, and admiration for, her older sister Lynn never falters, even when her sisterly advice doesn't seem to make sense. Lynn teaches her about everything from how the sky, the ocean, and people's eyes are special to the injustice of racial prejudice. The two girls dream of buying a house for the family someday and even save $100 in candy money: "Our other favorite book was Silas Marner. We were quite capitalistic and liked the idea of Silas keeping all that gold underneath the floorboards." When Lynn develops lymphoma, it's heartbreaking, but through the course of her worsening illness, Katie does her best to remember Lynn's "kira-kira" (glittery, shining) outlook on life. Small moments shine the brightest in this poignant story; told beautifully and lyrically in Katie's fresh, honest voice. (Ages 11 to 14) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:41 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

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.

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