Kira- Kira

By: Cynthia Kadohata

Review of the book:

This book is very sad, but it is also inspirational. It describes a familys struggle through discrimination, poverty, and death. It is a wonderful book that will touch your heart, and may even bring a tear to your eye. I highly recommend it to anyone.

Favorite Passage:

My sister, Lynn, taught me my first word: kira-kira....Kira-kira means "glittering" in Japanese. Lynn told me that when I was a baby, she used to take me onto our empty road at night, where we would lie on our backs and look at the stars while she said over and over, "Katie say 'kira-kira, kira-kira.' " I loved that word! When I grew older, I used kira-kira to describe everything I liked: the beautiful blue sky, puppies, kittens, butterflies, colored Kleenex .

Character Poem:


Young, Short, Japanese


Helping, Running, Learning

Georgia, 1950s



Katie, her sister Lynn, and their parents move from their Japanese-American community in Iowa to rural Georgia after their grocery store fails. Their parents take on grueling jobs in chicken processing plants. Though they are subjected to prejudice and poverty, Katie, with her older sister's loving care, is happy enough, until Lynn starts to get sick more and more often.Eventually Lynn is diagnosed with Lymphoma. Katie does her best to take care of her while their parents are working, but it is at times too much for her to bear. As Lynn's health fades the family seems to crumble, but after her death they look for ways to come together again, and Katie continue to try to see the world the way Lynn had taught her from the moment she began to speak, kira- kira.