Kira-Kira, by Cynthia Kadohata, won the Newbery Medal in 2005. It is a sad and beautiful story of the lives of a Japanese American family in the early 1950s, told through the eyes of Katie, the second daughter.  It is about the family’s struggle to retain a sense of dignity despite poverty and prejudice, but it is also about Katie’s growth from innocence to maturity as her beloved older sister suffers from some unknown (to Katie) illness and gradually declines.  This is a very moving story, beautifully told.

Click here to read an excerpt from the book.

9 thoughts on “Kira-Kira

  1. bybee

    I’ve seen this book around quite a lot. Nancy Pearl talked about it in Book Crush, which I just finished today, so this is the second mention in one day…think I gotta try it!


  2. Bellezza

    I read this to my class one year, which really, was almost too advanced for them. And yet, it was good for my rather priviledged children to be aware of lives that involve quite a bit more suffering than theirs. I’ll never forget the girls in the car waiting for their parent to come out of work. The book was so sad, in many ways, but important to read.


  3. oh

    Stuck on Murakami, it’s good to hear of other books by Japanese authors (which is one of the coolest things about this challenge.) Thanks for this one (and the excerpt!)


  4. Robin Post author

    Lisa D, it’s a really nice book, tenderhearted and beautifully written. Definitely worth reading!

    Oh, I read my first Murakami last year for Bellezza’s Japanese Literature Challenge, so I know how you can get stuck on his books!

    Melody, I hadn’t heard much about this book, either, but it’s definitely an award-winner and very interesting to read. Enjoy your reading for the JLC!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s