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.