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Kira-Kiraby Cynthia Kadohata
Winner of the 2005 Newbery Medal
Synopses & Reviews
kira-kira (kee' ra kee' ra): glittering; shining
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.
"The vivid writing and the portrayal of a most loving and honorable father lift this above the norm....Kadohata's Katie sparkles." Kirkus Reviews
"[B]eautifully written....Girls will relate to and empathize with the appealing protagonist." School Library Journal
"[M]oving....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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Kadohata stays true to the child's viewpoint in plain, beautiful prose that can barely contain the passionate feelings....The quiet words will speak to readers who have lost someone they love — or fear that they could." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Kadohata has written a quiet, powerful story that lingers long after the last page is turned." BookPage
Inside Out and Back Again meets One Crazy Summer in this novel-in-verse about fitting in and standing up for whats right
It's 1969, and the Apollo 11 mission is getting ready to go to the moon. But for half-black, half-Japanese Mimi, moving to a predominantly white Vermont town is enough to make her feel alien. Suddenly, Mimi's appearance is all anyone notices. She struggles to fit in with her classmates, even as she fights for her right to stand out by entering science competitions and joining Shop Class instead of Home Ec. And even though teachers and neighbors balk at her mixed-race family and her refusals to conform, Mimis dreams of becoming an astronaut never fade—no matter how many times shes told no.
This historical middle-grade novel is told in poems from Mimi's perspective over the course of one year in her new town, and shows readers that positive change can start with just one person speaking up.
A fascinating speculative historical fiction debut set in 1950s California—perfect for fans of When You Reach Me.
Twelve-year-old Ella Mae Higbee is a sensible girl. She eats her vegetables and wants to be just like Sergeant Friday, her favorite character on Dragnet. So when her auntie Mildred starts spouting nonsense about a scientist who can bring her cousin back to life from blood on his dog tags, Ella Mae is skeptical—until he steps out of a bio-pod right before her eyes.
But the boy is not her cousin—hes Japanese. And in California in the wake of World War II, the Japanese are still feared and despised. When her aunt refuses to take responsibility, Ella Mae and her Mama take him home instead. Determined to do whats right by her new friend, Ella Mae teaches Takuma English and defends him from the reverends talk of H-E-double-toothpicks. But when his memories start to resurface, Ella Mae learns some shocking truths about her own family and more importantly, what it means to love.
About the Author
Cynthia Kadohata is a novelist who has also had stories published in The New Yorker, Grand Street Magazine, and Ploughshares. The New York Times called her "a luminous new voice in fiction" with the publication of her first novel, The Floating World. A Whiting Award fellow, she lives in Los Angeles, California.
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