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Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

Kira-Kira (original 2004; edition 2005)

by Cynthia Kadohata

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,3931263,807 (3.78)32
Authors:Cynthia Kadohata
Info:Scholastic, Inc. (2005), Edition: First, Hardcover, 244 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Box3, Hannah, unread

Work details

Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata (2004)

Recently added byKatelynSBolds, eloquinn, private library, tah_lib, RTLibrary, husingk, Delfinek, TamaP, Spoto-Media
  1. 00
    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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» See also 32 mentions

English (125)  Danish (1)  All languages (126)
Showing 1-5 of 125 (next | show all)
Cuốn sách của tuổi thơ, bỏ dở mấy lần và cuối cùng cũng đọc hết, mình gần như đã nghĩ mình có xem một bộ phim tên là Kira-Kira. ( )
  nhukhue | Aug 30, 2018 |
Definitely a girl book. The story of the hardship of minority family trying to make it in a pre-union life. In the midst of it all Katie's big sister is sick and bed ridden. ( )
  ksmedberg | Aug 15, 2018 |
During the first half of this book, my rating was a 2. As it progressed, it slowly became a 3 and finally ended at a 4. This isn't a very long book so don't give up on it. Interestingly, the quality of the writing improves toward the end. As the story begins to wrap up in the last 50 pages it becomes clear that the real takeaway from the book are the lessons we learn from those we admire and care about. The early pages, though interesting in their depiction of Japanese American life, are written in a simplistic language that didn't grab me. Towards the end, when main character Katie takes the events of her life and fleshes out the lessons, I sat up and took notice. This is where the language creates an emotional pull that doesn't resonate in the earlier chapters.

The basic synopsis is that Katie is the daughter of Japanese Americans living in Iowa in the 1950s. When her parents can't make their Asian grocery store profitable (It's Iowa), they move to Georgia to be near their uncle and work in a poultry factory. Katie's best friend is her older sister Lynn who looks for the positive in everything she does. There is a glimpse at the cultural isolation that occurs for Asian Americans in the deep South, though mostly the book is about how hard her parents are willing to work to provide a good life for their kids.

Throughout the course of the story, Lynn becomes sicker, but no one tells Katie the extent of her illness. Up until the end Katie believes she will get better. Unbeknownst to her, Lynn has lymphoma. Kadohata did such a fantastic job with this portion of the book that I thought she must have had a sibling that died, but I couldn't find any information to confirm that. I recommend this book to anyone wanting a glimpse at Japanese American life post WW2 or a story about moving on from the death of a loved one. ( )
  valorrmac | May 15, 2018 |
Any interesting book about Japanese American immigrants. I found the main character of this book unbelievable. She seems to be too stupid, The story was entertaining. ( )
  KamGeb | May 6, 2018 |
Kira-Kira is a story about a Japanese-American family that moves from Iowa to Georgia. The main protagonist is Katie and her family has moved because they found a job at a hatchery. Katie's sister, Lynn, is Katie's best friend and she adores her. Lynn teaches Katie the word "kira-kira" which means sparkling in Japanese and reflects how they should view the important things in their life. Katie finds herself not doibg well in school. Her new friend Amber becomes boy crazy and her sister Lynn becomes focused on her looks and beauty. To make matters worse, her sister Lynn is diagnosed with lymphoma. Throughout the struggles of Katie's dealings with school, change, and trying to maintain a positive outlook, her sister eventually passes away. Katie holds on to the words kira-kira and she strives to not lose hope in the adversity that life throws at her. Through the grief of losing his daughter, Katie's father loses his job over wrecking his bosses car. He loses his job and Katie helps him find a new one in Missouri. After the storm of events dies down, Katie finds Lynn's journal and begins to read it. She finds a will with her wish list. Katie sees that one of them is for her to do better in school and katie vows to fulfill that promise. At the end of the book, Katie and her family take a vacation to beaches of California. While on the beach, Katie can hear the waves that sound like her sister saying "Kira-kira." As she vows to become strong and to keep moving forward despite the obstacles she is facing. ( )
  Matthew_Davis | Mar 31, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 125 (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.


added by kthomp25 | editVOYA,, Eileen Kuhl
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For Kim, For Stan, And for Sara
First words
My sister, Lynn, taught me my first word: kira-kira.
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.

(summary from another edition)

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Average: (3.78)
1 7
1.5 3
2 30
2.5 10
3 113
3.5 46
4 192
4.5 15
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