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...more
as i review yet another book about spectacularly irresponsible parenting!! like Lullabies for Little Criminals, these four girls grow up with a parent blissfully ignoring their parental responsibilities in order to live in some sort of hedonistic wonderland. in lullabies, the relationship was drug-addled romping, where the two of them behaved like children together until it all came tumbling down. this book is less dangerous than that, but helen kimura isn't going to win any...more
—Shelby, "Outside Beauty", P. 140
"Who wanted a long life if you were sad?"
—Shelby, P. 166
Cynthia Kadohata, a master of young adult literature, has once again displayed her stunning skills in this tightly woven, suspenseful, complex story that deals with all kinds of unconventional relationships and the way that our interconnectedness with those around us will profoundly affect our lives, whether or not the connections themselves...more
13 year old Shelby has 3 sisters and a strong-willed...more
Four half-sisters, the daughters of a very beautiful mother, are used to having different fathers and different men around. Helen (mom) doesn't want to settle down, nor does she believe that men want anything more than the perfect, beautiful woman. When she is in a bad car accident, the girls are sent to live with their fathers - and it seems that Helen has no one "type" for men....more
The most interesting and, I think, best-written parts are about Shelby getting to know her father, and I wish that had made up the bulk of the book. There was an especially intriguing comment thrown out that wasn't further developed that just hinted about how Jiro felt about having his daughter thrust upon him.
Jiro, Shelby, and Maddie were pretty well-develope...more
*The relationship with the protagonist (Shelby) and her father. What happens when you're forced to live with someone you've only seen perhaps seven times in your entire life?
*Helen Kimura - I wanted to hate this woman because of her laissez-faire attitude towards life and making a living off of men (she i...more
As the title suggests, there...more
1) The narrator's slow discovery that perhaps some of the things her mother taught her were not entirely right.
2) The relationship between the four sisters.
3) The tension of what was going to happen to Maddie under her father's care.
4) Basically, the last 1/3 of the book.
But there were other things that were bothersome or confusing:
1) The book was set in 1983, but the historical setting didn't really seem important.
2) Time passed somewhat stragely. I'm still trying to...more
Raised by their mother in an environment where outside beauty is everything, the girls receive a wake up call and are forced to cope with the fact that their lives have been drastically changed.
In Outside Beauty, Newberry Medal-winning author Cynthia Kadohata has explored...more
I did have several problems with it though.
1. Maddie/Maddy. I hated her so much. She was a spoiled little girl and I felt she needed to buck up, 6 year old or not. Yes, her particular f...more
It's always been Shelby, her mom, and her three sisters. The story is told through Shelby's eyes. She is the second eldest of the four. They live in an untraditional family, to say the least. Each of the sisters has a different father. And they each have different ancestry, as well. One is half Japanese, half Italian. One is half Japanese and half Chinese. One is half Japanese and half Anglo. And Shelby is all Japanese.
Their mom has always been on the ques...more
This book wasn't about what I thought it was going to be about (th...more
In Outside Beauty, she did a nice job at challenging my judgmental side. She creates a mother who for all intents and purposes appears shallow and self-serving. Yet, from this woman four engaging an...more
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