Glittering. That's how Katie Takeshima's sister, Lynn, makes everything seem. The sky is kira-kira because its color is deep but see-through at the same time. The sea is kira-kira for the same reason. And so are people's eyes. When Katie and her family move from a Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, it's Lynn who explains to her why people stop them on the street to stare. And it's Lynn who, with her special way of viewing the world, teaches Katie to look beyond tomorrow. But when Lynn becomes desperately ill, and the whole family begins to fall apart, it is up to Katie to find a way to remind them all that there is always something glittering -- kira-kira -- in the future.
Luminous in its persistence of love and hope, Kira-Kira is Cynthia Kadohata's stunning debut in middle-grade fiction.
This is a heartbreaking, gorgeous book written from the point of view of young Katie, who is only 10 when her 14 year old sister falls sick and dies. The prose is clear, simple and authentic and, most importantly, is clearly touching the hearts of young readers as you can see by the reader reviews posted at BookBrowse. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Kadohata's spare, lovely images stayed in my head long after I turned the last page. And my 11-year-old was so entranced that she finished the book in a single sitting.
Los Angeles Times Book Review - Sonja Bolle
Kadohata writes beautifully and penetratingly about life on the margins of society and about the in-betweenness of immigrant life.
Boston Globe Kira-Kira is heartbreaking, brilliant, and might as easily be read by a 41-year-old as a 14-year-old ....in works of literature for the young, the tragic and the comic forever travel hand in hand. Kira-Kira raises this mix to a level of highest art.
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The family's devotion to one another, and Lynn's ability to teach Katie to appreciate the kira-kira, or glittering, in everyday life makes this novel shine. Ages 11-up.
School Library Journal - Ashley Larsen
Gr 6-8. All of the characters are believable and well developed, especially Katie, who acts as a careful observer of everything that happens in her family, even though there is a lot she doesn't understand. ...Girls will relate to and empathize with the appealing protagonist.
Children's Literature - Angie Rogers
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. Ages 11 up.
Booklist - Hazel Rochmn
Starred review. Gr. 6-12. The real story is in the small details, never self-consciously poetic but tense with family drama.....Just as heart wrenching as the sisters' story is what Katie knows of her father's struggle, whether it's his backbreaking work in the factory or his love for his family. The quiet words will speak to readers who have lost someone they love--or fear that they could.
Katie loves and admires her older sister, Lynn, only to lose her in this story that reads like a memoir about a Japanese-American family in the 1950s..... The vivid writing and the portrayal of a most loving and honorable father lift this above the norm. Kira-kira is Japanese for glittering, and Kadohata's Katie sparkles. Fiction. 10-14
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by lindsey O'brian best book I fell in love with this book. It is really good; I can't stop reading it. You should really read it.
Rated of 5
by franhuazo KIRA KIRA Kira-Kira seems as a word used to just mean something glittering, but to Lynn and Katie it is much more its more of a way to admire everything that they have around them. It's also a way in which they express how they feel and how they can make... Read More
Rated of 5
by cami amazing but little i mean i lot sad This book is a wonderful book, so good, I just wish it was not so sad. I almost cried.
Rated of 5
by Re'Anna kira kira I think kira kira is a great book its book for you and your kids its sad and happy and like how they wrote it and there descriptions. I hope they write more great books like kira kira
Rated of 5
by Wendy Kira-Kira I loved this book because I never read a book about a sister that loved her sister so dearly and when the older sister died, it changed the whole story into a cloudy book because it was so sad. I recommend this book for whoever comes upon it.... Read More
Rated of 5
by Juju Best book I loved this book! I thought it would be boring but the first page convinced me otherwise.
Cynthia Kadohata was born in Chicago in 1956. When she was very young her family
moved to Georgia where her father found a job as a chicken sexer, like Katie's
father in Kira-Kira. Then when she was about two, her father found
a chicken-sexing job in Arkansas, where they lived until she was almost nine.
She has a BA in journalism from the University of Southern California and has
been writing since 1982. When she was 25 and completely directionless, she
took a Greyhound bus trip up the West Coast, and then down through the South and
Southwest. She met people she never would have met otherwise. It was during that
bus trip, which lasted a month, that she rediscovered in the landscape the magic
she'd known as a child. Though she had never considered writing fiction before,
the next year she decided to begin. She sent one story out every month, and
about forty-eight stories later The New Yorker took one. She now lives
in California with her son Sammy, who she adopted from Kazakhstan in 2004, and
Skika Kojika, her...
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