Newbery Books discussion

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message 1: by Kristine (new)

Kristine (kristine_a) | 140 comments Mod
It's amazing how much this book can cover -- culture, friendship, racism, class warfare, suffering, forgiveness, love, dying, discrimination, priorities, etc.

My favorite line from the book is:

"I thought of all those stories I had to read for school and the questions the teachers always asked. What is the theme? What does the story mean? Why did the characters act in a certain way? We whizzed by the pretty houses. It seemed that at this moment I was inside a story. This was the story of my life, and I did not know what any of it meant."

I loved that part is because it just reminds you to analyze your life. Too often we just let life freak out on us without thinking about what things mean. A life un-analyzed is a sad one, indeed. And I don't even think the author meant this to mean so much, but it does to me . . .



message 2: by Kristine (new)

Kristine (kristine_a) | 140 comments Mod
oh, one more thing:

I felt the author didn't take a moral and make it a little subtle or whack you on the side of the head with it . . . . she told a story and let you see it and take from it what you will.

The main theme is about finding and enjoying the everyday "kira kira" things about your life. But the book meant more to me about priorities - i.e. I saw how both of their parents worked so hard to pay their mortgage payment, and as a result never saw their kids (granted, they did have a terminally ill daughter) . . . contrast that with her uncle's family, the parents were frequently around and they were always doing family activities together. It made me want to move into a tiny house with tiny bills and DH can have a job where he works less and we all spend MUCH more time together and enjoy each other.


message 3: by Wendy (new)

Wendy | 41 comments One thing I particularly liked about this book was the way their Japanese-American culture was woven in through everything that happens. On the one hand it could be a book about anyone who loses a sister--but on the other hand, you couldn't possibly take the culture out of this book.

This is one of the recent Newberys that a LOT of people seem to think was a bad choice, so I'm curious to hear more opinions.


message 4: by Kristine (new)

Kristine (kristine_a) | 140 comments Mod
it is funny because I read some of the other reviews that were very negative about the way this book deals with death . . . but I myself have had a sister pass away and while that part didn't necessarily speak to me, I didn't see anything negative about how it was dealt with . . .


message 5: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 66 comments I've been waiting for this book from the library for a month now. Supposedly I'm #1 on the waiting list. So when I finally get it, I'll read it quickly and be able to join the discussion--hopefully soon!


message 6: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 60 comments Let me know if I should bring it with me to Iowa. Even though it's a sad story I thought it dealt well with a child's perception of family struggles, illness, death, and life moving on.


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