About the Book “Kira-Kira”

“Kira-Kira” is a captivating novel that holds a special place in the hearts of its readers. This beautifully written book, authored by Cynthia Kadohata, takes us on an emotional journey and tells a story that resonates with anyone interested in various forms of literature, including books, audiobooks, e-books, and podcasts.

The Plot

“Kira-Kira” narrates the remarkable story of a young Japanese American girl named Katie Takeshima and her close relationship with her older sister, Lynn. Set in the 1950s, the novel follows their journey as they navigate the complexities of life as a family in Georgia.

Katie idolizes her wise and caring sister, Lynn, who introduces her to the concept of “kira-kira,” a Japanese word meaning “glittering” or “shining.” The sisters embark on a series of adventures, finding beauty and joy in the ordinary moments of life. However, their world is shattered when Lynn is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.

As Lynn’s health deteriorates, Katie struggles to come to terms with the harsh realities of life, enduring the pain of losing her sister’s constant presence and support. Through it all, Katie holds on to the lessons her sister has taught her, finding solace and strength in the concept of “kira-kira.”

Awards, Reviews, and Acclaim

“Kira-Kira” has received significant recognition for its profound storytelling and heartfelt portrayal of family dynamics. The novel was honored with the Newbery Medal in 2005, one of the most prestigious awards in children’s literature, recognizing outstanding contribution to the field.

Critics and readers alike have praised Cynthia Kadohata’s writing style and ability to convey complex emotions. “Kira-Kira” has been lauded for its delicate exploration of themes such as resilience, love, loss, and the power of hope. It has resonated with a wide audience, touching the hearts of both young readers and adults.

Important Characters

“Kira-Kira” introduces readers to a diverse set of characters who add depth and richness to the story:

1. Katie Takeshima:

The protagonist of the novel, Katie is a young Japanese American girl and the narrator of the story. She experiences the joys and sorrows of growing up, learning valuable lessons from her sister, Lynn.

2. Lynn Takeshima:

Katie’s older sister, Lynn is wise, kind, and full of life. She serves as Katie’s role model and instills in her the belief in the beauty of the world. Lynn’s illness becomes a central focus of the story and shapes Katie’s journey.

3. Sam Takeshima:

Katie and Lynn’s older brother, Sam, provides support and guidance to his sisters during difficult times. He embodies strength and resilience, serving as a pillar of strength for the family.

4. Uncle Katsuhisa:

Uncle Katsuhisa is Katie’s uncle, who plays a significant role in the lives of the Takeshima family. He becomes an anchor for Katie and Sam, providing love and support during their most challenging moments.

5. Nakayama Family:

Throughout the novel, the Nakayama family, who are neighbors and family friends of the Takeshima’s, offer companionship and support. Their presence reflects the importance of community and friendship in overcoming adversity.


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