KIRA-KIRA by Cynthia Kadohata


Age Range: 10 - 14
Email this review


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. Built around the loss of Lynn to lymphoma, it belongs to Katie and stays true to her perspective. The supporting cast of extended family and friends also fits within Katie’s vision of life. Humor keeps the depth of sadness at bay as Katie reports events: “If a robber came to our apartment, I would hit him over the head with a lamp. So I didn’t need a bank, personally.” Starting out in Iowa, the family moves to Georgia; both parents work long hours in the poultry industry to buy and then pay for a house of their own. Kadohata weaves details of life for a Japanese-American family into the narrative along with Lynn and Katie’s gradual acquirement of understanding of the dominant culture around them. 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)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-689-85639-3
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2003


ChildrenCHECKED by Cynthia Kadohata
by Cynthia Kadohata
ChildrenHALF A WORLD AWAY by Cynthia Kadohata
by Cynthia Kadohata
ChildrenTHE THING ABOUT LUCK by Cynthia Kadohata
by Cynthia Kadohata


ChildrenFROM YOU TO ME by K.A.  Holt
by K.A. Holt
ChildrenTHE WEIGHT OF WATER by Sarah  Crossan
by Sarah Crossan
FictionTHE LAKE by Banana Yoshimoto
by Banana Yoshimoto