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Cynthia Kadohata

Author of Kira-Kira

13+ Works 6,800 Members 355 Reviews 6 Favorited

About the Author

Cynthia Kadohata was born on July 2, 1956. She is a Japanese American author of children's books. Kadohata won the Newbery Medal in 2005 for her title, Kira-Kira. She also won a PEN award in 2006 for Weedflower and in 2013 she won the U.S. National Book Award for The Thing About Luck. Kadohata was show more born in Chicago, Illinois, and was a high school drop out. She attained a BA in Journalism from the University of Southern California and went on to attend graduate programs at the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia University. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: By Slowking4 - Own work, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35041230

Works by Cynthia Kadohata

Kira-Kira (2004) 3,095 copies
Weedflower (2006) 919 copies
The Thing About Luck (2013) 504 copies
A Million Shades of Gray (2009) 335 copies
Outside Beauty (2008) 240 copies
Half a World Away (2014) 240 copies
A Place to Belong (2019) 189 copies
The Floating World (1989) 138 copies
Checked (2018) 135 copies
Saucy (2020) 64 copies
The Glass Mountains (1995) 21 copies

Associated Works

Growing up Asian American: An Anthology (1993) — Contributor — 102 copies
Coming of Age in America: A Multicultural Anthology (1994) — Contributor — 96 copies
American Eyes: New Asian-American Short Stories for Young Adults (1994) — Introduction; Contributor — 84 copies
The Literary Ghost: Great Contemporary Ghost Stories (1991) — Contributor — 75 copies
The Seasons of Women: An Anthology (1995) — Contributor — 46 copies


Common Knowledge




I would have rated this higher if it didn’t have language and references to s*x (especially since it is middle grade.)
Audiobook: narrator was excellent

1 Star
libraryofemma | 143 other reviews | Apr 18, 2024 |
Really impressed with this story. There is a lot of heartache and a few well illustrated simple pleasures, all told insimple but poetic language. The details of Japanese experience in the time and place added interest and I loved her flawed but honorable characters
cspiwak | 143 other reviews | Mar 6, 2024 |
I hated for this book to end, and, in fact, the ending is the only place I would quibble with it.. I felt like it was kind of abrupt and a bit dissatisfying (sequel coming maybe?).

Other than that, it was another showcase for Kadohata's mastery as a storyteller and word weaver. Although the story is told in third person, we are IN Sumiko's head, and we see the world so poignantly and honestly, with her eyes.

Even the least consequential characters are clear and real, and Kadohata has managed to tackle one of the most difficult, shameful chapters in American history with brushstrokes of beauty and light. When they say writers should "show not tell," this is the perfect example. She avoids being preachy, or maudlin manipulation. Instead, she lets the telling detail reveal the truth. I think this should be required reading for all middle school American children.
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BethOwl | 42 other reviews | Jan 24, 2024 |
I just loved this. I am reading lots more YAF and Juvenile Fiction these days, and this was a gem. The point of view of the little sister was pitch perfect, and seeing her family's life through her eyes was the ultimate example of "show, don't tell." It could have turned maudlin but it didn't. It could have been preachy but it wasn't.

It was an important story, beautifully told.
BethOwl | 143 other reviews | Jan 24, 2024 |



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