Kira-Kira Reprint Edition, Kindle Edition
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- Length: 263 pages
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
- Page Flip: Enabled
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- Age Level: 10 - 14
- Grade Level: 5 - 9
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-- San Diego Union-Tribune
"This novel shine[s]."
-- Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Will speak to readers who have lost someone they love or fear that they could."
-- Booklist, starred review
-- Booklist, starred review
- ASIN : B001D1YCYK
- Publisher : Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (June 20, 2008)
- Publication date : June 20, 2008
- Language : English
- File size : 620 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 263 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #186,279 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I first picked up this book because I thought it would be like a children's version of A Passage to India and The Namesake, two books I love because they capture perfectly how I feel as an American living in Peru; never quite fitting in to Peruvian culture, but also no longer fitting in to American culture.
The book does touch lightly on those themes, but the focus is much, much more on the strength of the relationship between the two sisters. It reminded me a lot of my sister, even though our relationship was very different, and I loved it for that.
Kira Kira is a living book - Charlotte Mason fans and most homeschoolers will know what I mean - and deserves its place on my shelves and in my heart.
And yes, I cried at the end. :)
The book is narrated by a young girl of about 10 through 13. She tells innocently, yet with realization, the truths about the prejudice that she encounters, and that her family encounters. In the course of the tale, the deepest and most intimate feelings and concerns are expressed. The feelings of Katie, the protagonist with respect to her sister Lynnie are particularly precious. Lynnie had lymphoma and was slowly dying. Katie reacts to this mostly in a very good way. But occasionally, she slips in her own eyes in terms if her personal ethics and morality.
While many books have been written about oppressed minorities, in America, we usually don't consider Orientals as an oppressed minority. Yet even in America today, we surely have plenty of xenophobia and prejudice. The story goes around and around in America; over and over and over again.
This book is recommended for all those readers who wish to have a truly personal experience in terms of American integration. This book is a very fine offering.
That being said, this is not one of my favorites among the Newbery's. Kadohata is excellent at convincingly telling this story from the point of view of a young child and this story of Japanese-Americans struggling to get by in the deep South with a very ill child is a good one; however, I felt very much like I knew where this story was going and I occasionally felt my emotions were being manipulated by the author. I wept the required tears but I didn't feel satisfied.
Still, I'm fond of the occasional tear-jerker and, if you are too, then this book is a good place to go.
Top reviews from other countries
Our narrator, Katie Takeshima talks about the struggles her family and herself had to go through when she was a child. Her family were Japanese Americans and owned a grocery store in Iowa. In the beginning of the novel, the family is seen moving to a Japanese Community in South Georgia, in search of a better life.
Katie's parents are extremely hard-working individuals. Lynn, Katie's older sister is her absolute favourite person in this whole world. Katie followed Lynn in everything and tried her best to keep up with her as according to Katie, her sister is perfect. Lynn loved Katie and their younger brother Samson with her whole heart and protected them.
The Takeshima family was living hand to mouth but at least they were happy till an unfortunate death in the family shatters them. How the family heals from it, is what is important now. This book is for children and it shows how the author brings before the harder truths of life in the language of children. Some might think it's too brutal for children to understand the hardships portrayed in this book at their age, but we shouldn't forget that many many children are going through much much worse than this. It's not very uplifting I agree, but it does portray compassion and that things will heal with time.
But does Kira Kira truly shine? Well, that depends on the reader.