"My mother had four daughters by four different men."
There's only one way Shelby and her sisters can describe their mother: She's a sexpot. Helen Kimura collects men (and loans, spending money, and gifts of all kinds) from all over the country. Sure, she's not your typical role model, but she's also not just a pretty face and nail polish. She is confident and brave; she lives life on her own terms, and her four daughters simply adore her. These girls have been raised outside the traditional boundaries. They know how to take the back exit. They know how to dodge crazed lovers in highway car chases. They do not, however, know how to function without one another.
Then suddenly they must. A late-night phone call unexpectedly shreds the family apart, catapulting the girls across the country to live with their respective fathers. But these strong-willed sisters are, like their mother, determined to live life on their own terms, and what they do to pull their family back together is nothing short of beautiful.
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"Starred Review. Realistic or not, two important truths underlie this quirky and disarming tale: Tolstoy was wrong; not all happy families are alike. And, if it ain't broke, don't fix it." - Kirkus Reviews, ages 12+
"Starred Review. Newbery Medalist Kadohata's (Kira-Kira) gifts for creating and containing drama and for careful definition of character prove as powerful as ever in this wise, tender and compelling novel." - Publishers Weekly.
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Cynthia Kadohata 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 her own words.....
Family Background: My father's parents married in Japan and immigrated in the early 1920s to the United States, where they became tenant farmers near Costa Mesa, California. ...
Cynthia Kadohata: ca-do-HAR-ta
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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