Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Kira-Kira” as Want to Read:
Kira-Kira
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Kira-Kira

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  12,570 ratings  ·  1,720 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
...more
Hardcover, 244 pages
Published February 1st 2004 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published 2004)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Kira-Kira, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Kira-Kira

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Karrie
Oh, do you ever wish a book could just go on? Kira-kira is such a beautiful piece of writing that the story has stayed with me since I finished it two days ago. It's one of those books that makes you feel like nothing you read after that will compare. The richness of the characters is what drives this story, and by the end of the book I felt as if I knew each and every one of them.

This is the story of a Japanese-American family named Takeshima. Katie, the middle child, is the narrator of their
...more
Laurel
THIS IS THE ABSOLUTE AWESOMEST BOOK IN THE HISTORY OF AWESOME BOOKS. I cried at the end. I reccomend it to you and everyone you know. I read it like 10 times and so should you. It's about a Japanese girl and her family living in the U.S. in that descrimination era.
Julia M
This is by far one of the loveliest books I have read in a long time! I can't remember when I last cried over a children's book, but this touching story about a young Japanese-American girl definitely made me shed a tear or two. Katie and her family, including big sister Lynn and little brother Sammy, live in a small town in Georgia during a time when looking different means low-paying jobs and unaffordable housing. Katie's parents eventually end up working multiple factory jobs to support the f ...more
Heidi
Much of this book was predictable: young protagonist, struggles come to family, family begins to falter, and tragedy must be overcome at end. But I liked the setting and the plot. It was a Japanese family in Georgia in the 1950s. It was interesting to hear about the hard work and the different kind of prejudice. It made me wonder what my grandmother must have gone through when she relocated to the "land" states.

I think the part I most connected with was the relationship between the two sisters.
...more
Tara
Feb 15, 2010 Tara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tara by: Julie @ Allears Audio
Being of Japanese descent, I recognized so much that was in my childhood of the day to day existence and the way the family operated. I grew up in California but I think the racism that was experienced in the book was what my parent generation had to deal with in the South.

I particularly appreciate the correct pronunciation of the Japanese language. That's one downside of audio books, if you get it wrong, it is difficult to listen to. I once rented out a book by Gail Tsukiyama (the one with the
...more
Patricia
This one never got to my currently reading shelf as I was too busy reading, or listening to it. Caused me to miss a few turns. It had been recommended to me two years ago by a friend who also got me into Audible Books. From the sounds of the crickets resounding in the words of the title to the glitter of the world, I can see how this book deserved the 2005 Newbery award. Cynthia Kadohata elaborated on so many themes from the personal connection of being Japanese in America to the universal theme ...more
Hiroshi Sasaki
I had to take my mind off the fact that I was taking a life-changing exam at 1:30 pm. I had started this middle school, Newbury award winning little book earlier in the week in between cramming, and decided the morning of the exam that the best way to chill and prepare was to lie back and finish the back half of the book. Wow. What a great decision. Kadohata does an amazing job not only of evoking what it feels like to be a kid bewildered by family, world, school, and simply how to be, but espec ...more
Helna
Akhirnya saya bisa juga baca novel ini. Sejak lihat review novel ini di majalah, saya sudah naksir pengen tahu seperti apa jalan ceritanya..Dan ternyata bagus..Tema ceritanya menarik, karena sebelumnya saya belum pernah baca buku yang menceritakan suka duka kehidupan Imigran (terutama imigran jepang),jadi waktu membaca buku ini saya sangat menikmati jalan ceritanya.. Layak dibaca oleh siapapun.. ^_^

Singkat cerita :

Menjadi imigran di Amerika tidaklah mudah, juga bagi Katie Takeshima dan keluargan
...more
Jill
Kira-Kira is the story of the Japanese-American Takeshima family, told from the point of view of Katie, the youngest daughter. We learn in the opening passage of the story that Kira-Kira means “glittering” in Japanese, and that it was Katie’s first word, taught to her by her older sister Lynn. It’s obvious from the beginning that Katie adores Lynn.

Born in Iowa to Japanese immigrants, Katie and Lynn have a nice childhood, but everything changes when the family’s Asian food store goes out of busin
...more
Mayra
Jun 26, 2010 Mayra rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Addie, Katie, Emily
Recommended to Mayra by: Lauren Allen
This was a great book, portraying the theme of antiracism. The author it so poetic, but in a realistic kind of way, the way that makes writing sound beautiful. I am not usually the kind of person who likes Newberry books, so when my friend Lauren forced this book into my hand, I put it back on the shelf. What was I thinking! She did it a second time, and this time I actually checked it out of the library. They say that a good author can make you feel anything, and as I read the life story of a l ...more
James
Attention Yankees! The pronoun "y'all" is a contraction of "you all" and is plural. No one in the South ever addresses a single person as y'all. That would be like addressing that person as "you folks." It doesn't make any sense. I should be more forgiving, since the towering Russell Banks makes the same gaffe in Rule of the Bone, but Kadohata's persistence in this folly pretty much ruined the book for me. My willing suspension of disbelief deflated with an almost audible hiss. Other lame lazine ...more
پگاه
چه‌قدر خواهر ِبزرگ‌تر نعمت خوبی‌ه... چه‌قدر آخه:)
Tim
I agree with the reviewer who said (in a review from January 2010): "Dear Yankees, the word "y'all" is a contraction of "you all" and it is plural." It was mind-numbingly annoying that Katie used it when addressing a single person with regularity. Kadohata claims she lived in the South when she was young; I can only guess it was for a very short time, a long time ago and she has not returned. Any young child who regularly heard people use this expression correctly and who would pick up the accen ...more
Brittney
This book takes place in Georgia in the 1950's. This book is fictional and a young adult book. The main characters of Kira-Kira are Katie and Lynn. This book is about a little girl named Katie who moves to Georgia from Iowa with her family. Katie and her older sister were very close but when they moved to Georgia everything changed. Lynn changes when she meets a new friend and forgets about Katie. After a couple of months Lynn gets very sick and is unable to go to school. At that time Katie didn ...more
Dini
Here are some of the things I thought about when reading this book:

1. The relationship between Katie Takeshima and her older sister Lynn reminded me of my own relationship with my little sister. Katie worships Lynn and does everything she tells her, thinking Lynn is a genius. I think my sister worshiped me too as a kid (I'm convinced she still does, but don't tell her I said that), although I may not be as perfect and protective and full of guidance as Lynn is. My sister also once told me I was
...more
Erin
Katie Takeshima's first word is "kira-kira," the Japanese term for "glittering." Her older sister, Lynn, is extremely intelligent and taught her this word. Katie and her family move south to Georgia, where there are less than fifty Japanese Americans alongside them. Her parents start jobs with long hours and inhumane treatment, in the hopes of one day getting a real house. The sisters save their candy money and are eventually able to donate it to the family to help in the purchase. Unfortunately ...more
Cheryl
It seems as if it were almost written to pander to the Newbery committee. Historical fiction, about an under-explored situation, and also a big family story.

But Katie was too young to share the story. We never got to really know the characters much beyond their iconographic roles. Maybe a reread or a discussion would reveal to me more of what the author hints at, because there is more subtle showing and less telling than I'm accustomed to in MG books. But as I reflect, I still feel like the stor
...more
Haleema
Beware of spoilers!

Even though I thought this book was "ok", I still don't want to give it two stars because it just looks bad when you look at it overall.

I knew Lynn was going to die. I think the author meant for that to happen anyway. There was really nothing to this story, though. I mean, two sisters love each other, think they're perfect, etc. Then they get a baby brother. Then one of them gets cancer. Then one of them dies.

The end.

I mean, I wish there was more to this book. More depth and
...more
لیلی
خیلی خوب بود. خیلی خیلی هم خوب، هم غم انگیز.ولی از این داستانای ناراحت کننده ای که خوشت هم میاد از ناراحتیش، نه از اونایی که زجرت میدن(مثل روزینیا
Kate
At the current moment, I'm having trouble putting into words how I feel about this book. I'll do my best.

So this family is moving to Iowa in order to start a new life and the story seems so simple. So ordinary. But's that thing about real life, nothing extraordinary really happens unless we are grateful for the simple things and try to have an appreciation for everything and everyone around us. And that makes the world a better place. This family isn't well off financially because their store ra
...more
Laina
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erika Tortorice
This historical fiction novel kept me intrigued to find out what would happen. A young Japanese girl named Katie tells of a story about her relationship with her sister Lynnie. She builds up that connection they have, by telling stories of struggles she and her family face and how her sister is a big part of all of them. Lynnie is sick various times throughout the book, but it never quite allows the reader to know how sick until the end. It leaves you wondering, will she be okay or will she die? ...more
Mai Lien Nguyen
Thích truyện này kinh khủnggggg, mà giờ có lẽ hỏi thích vì lý do gì chắc cũng không rõ nữa.
Có phải vì một hồi đơ đơ, đọc vài cuốn sách, chữ cứ lơ lửng bay qua không biết rõ cảm xúc của mình như thế nào, đến khi đọc Kira Kira mới giật mình như tỉnh giấc? Kira Kira đến với mình như kiểu tình yêu sét đánh, ấn tượng mãi không quên. Hay giống như tìm được một phần bé nhỏ của mình trong đó (nhiều chuyện xấu giống em nhỏ :P), và thấy cuộc sống cứ lấp lánh lấp lánh mãi dẫu cho chúng ta hàng ngày vẫn gặp
...more
Lydia
I enjoyed this comfort book, and I read it for the second time. The characters were slightly relatable as they were Japanese people living in the U.S, but they were living there during a world war which made it quite interesting(I love novels set in wars, especially World War II). This taught about how it was culturally to be a Japanese living in the U.S back then. This was a very easy read so next I will be reading a stretch book.
Dana Kurniawan
In one sentence--simple, profound yet complex book that can be too depressing to pick up sometimes but always seem refreshing and beautiful every time you resolve to finally have another quick browse through. This book portrays a Japanese family that has migrated to Oregon and is moving to Iowa, United States. Constantly being forced to adapt and being exposed to different environments make Katie and her sister torn in translation between culture and identity as they hold on to each other for su ...more
Maladia Dixon
Kira-kira book review
“She’s gone”, says Dad as he carries Katie into the house after she falls asleep under the sunset. Lynnie lays there, pale and harmless, without showing any sign of life. Katie stands quietly, in confusion. Cynthia’s Kira-kira entertained me with a story of a little girl, Katie, and her Japanese family. Read more about the struggle in the family.
Cynthia’s writing style is unique in many ways. She expressed the feelings of the characters more than any other author. This boo
...more
Shirleen
I loved reading this simple story (told through the eyes of the young daughter Katie) of a Japanese family living in the South during the 1950s and 60's. It was an eye opener for me to vicariously live through the problems that this family encountered in their daily lives - financial problems, health problems, racial discrimination problems, work problems, school problems, every day life problems. It was heart wrenching to read of Katie's feelings when her brilliant sister Lynne dies way too you ...more
Rashika (is tired)
I read this back in the 4th grade. I remember reading the ending before finishing the book and feeling miserable. I didn't want to continue reading because the ending was so sad but in the end i did continue reading it and i dont regret it. This book changed me in a way no other has and i am glad i read it.
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
it was a good story overall. i like that the main character was realistic and had a good tone. it was well-written and everything, but the ending kind of ruined it for me. it was really predictable, and honestly, it didn't do much for the story in my opinion.
Amy Gonzalez
It took awhile for this book to grab a hold of me, but then I understood that this book works a lot like poetry. The text on the page is sort of big and not dense. The language, with the exception of some Japanese terms, seems simplistic. I got annoyed at how the narrator's train of thought was random at times. Then half-way through, I was struck by the idea that when things in life become so hard we struggle to describe the experience. To protect their innocence, adults are careful about being ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Did Lynn's death, or the fact that Amber changed Lynn into something that Katie hates? 2 8 Oct 16, 2014 05:53PM  
Similar books? 2 12 Aug 23, 2014 10:54PM  
What's The Name o...: book about a little girl whose sister dies[s] 5 36 Jun 26, 2014 12:32PM  
read this 11 109 Feb 26, 2014 05:20PM  
  • Tales From Silver Lands
  • Gay Neck: The Story of a Pigeon
  • Daniel Boone
  • M.C. Higgins, the Great
  • Shen of The Sea: Chinese Stories for Children
  • Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village
  • The Dark Frigate
  • ...And Now Miguel
  • Criss Cross
  • A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers
  • Dobry
  • The Story of Mankind
  • Invincible Louisa: The Story of the Author of Little Women
  • Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze
  • Shadow Of A Bull
  • Waterless Mountain
  • Roller Skates
  • It's Like This, Cat
51527
Cynthia Kadohata is a Japanese American writer known for writing coming of age stories about Asian American women.

She spent her early childhood in the South; both her first adult novel and first children's novel take place in Southern states. Her first adult novel was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Her first children's book, Kira-Kira, won the 2005 Newbery Medal. Her first published s
...more
More about Cynthia Kadohata...
Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam Weedflower The Thing About Luck Outside Beauty A Million Shades of Gray

Share This Book

“My sister had taught me to look at the world that way, as a place that glitters, as a place where the calls of the crickets and the crows and the wind are everyday occurrences that also happen to be magic.” 65 likes
“It was hard to stay angry when I felt so sad. I would rather have felt angry, but instead, all I could do was sob. Even though people had been coming over all day, the house seemed so lonely that I couldn't stand it.
The room grew somewhat dimmer. I didn't move as it grew dimmer still. Then, with a start, I hurried outside and ran to the alley in back of our house. Through a break between the buildings, I saw that the sun hung low over the horizon. I watched it until it started to hide between two trees in the distance. Then I climbed on a car and watched until only half of the sun was visible, and then a quarter, and then I felt a huge sickening panic inside of me and ran as hard as I could to a ladder I saw down the alley. I rushed up the ladder and climbed on the roof of somebody's garage. I saw the sun again, a quarter of it, and then a slice, and then it disappeared, the last time ever that the sun would set on a day my sister had lived.”
14 likes
More quotes…