Thursday, July 8, 2010

Kira-Kira By Cynthia Kadohata Book review

By Cynthia Kadohata

Publisher: Aladdin Paperbacks, An imprint of Simon and Schuster Childrens Publishing Division

Age Group: 11-14 years old (6-9th grade and older)

Number of Pages: 244 pages

Characters:Sammy, Lynn, Katie

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


Another Newbery medal award book. This book deserves it too-alot. This book is about a

family who has a few problems (that I will not mention becasue I don't want to ruin the story

for you. But...if you would like to know, watch out for my new page-Spoilers.) I love Cynthia

Kadohata's characters-there so compassionate and caring that they'll do almost anything for

their family. Every single event or thing that happened is wonderfully described and really

shows feeling and a sense of home. The cover is beautiful- either if you have the blue cover

with flowers on it or the two girls in a sort of wheat field, their both beautiful! The Suspense

in this book is remarkable, and I love the surprsies Cynthia springs on you. The

ending ( again!) is sad but happy at the same time. The plot of this story was very clear and

well formed, and her descriptions gave a very clear view of what was going on.


Plot-cat ( 5 stars)

Characters- cat (5 stars)

Suspense- cat (5 stars)

Ending-cat (5 stars)

Cover-cat (5 stars)

Setting/Description- cat ( 5 stars)


Everything's all kira-kira (sparkly) when it's winter!

<3 Beth


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