Audiobook Review: Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

kirakiraTitle: Kira-Kira
Author: Cynthia Kadohata
Genre: YA historical fiction, multi-cultural fiction
Publisher: Atheneum Books
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the library
Audiobook reader: Elaina Erika Davis
First line: My sister, Lynn, taught me my first word: kira-kira.

Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata won the Newbery Medal in 2005, and the award was well-deserved. This is the story of Katie, the child of Japanese immigrants, growing up in the 1950s. Katie’s best friend is her older sister Lynn. Lynn’s guidance and care help Katie through a move from Iowa to Georgia, through the days of her parents working long, exhausting hours at a chicken hatchery, and through the adjustment to a baby brother. When Lynn gets sick, though, it’s Katie’s turn to take care of her.

Kadohata has written a wonderfully simple story of a family, and yet within that simple story are themes like prejudice, workers’ rights, grief, parenting, and honor. I haven’t read much Japanese-American literature, but I was fascinated by the story of these parents trying to make a better life for their kids. My daughter Natalie read both Kira-Kira and Weedflower by Kadohata, and told me I should read them. She was right; I would not want to have missed out on this story. I will listen to Weedflower soon.

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17 Responses to Audiobook Review: Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

  1. I don’t read much in the way of YA but this does sound really good, Carrie. I’m especially interested in books that touch on the immigrant experience. Thanks for the great review!
    .-= Literary Feline´s last blog ..Sunday Salon: Random Bookish Thoughts =-.

  2. Kathy says:

    I do love a good immigrant story and this sounds wonderful with the strong family bonds in it. Thanks for the review.
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Review: Ghoulish Goodies =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Kathy – reading a story about a family who had it so hard makes me appreciate what we have. 🙂

  3. JoAnn
    Twitter: lakesidemusing
    says:

    Speak is the first YA I’ve read in ages, but his sounds like another for my list.
    .-= JoAnn´s last blog ..TSS: an abbreviated Sunday Salon =-.

  4. Beth F
    Twitter: BethFishReads
    says:

    This sounds absolutely made for me. Thanks so much.
    .-= Beth F´s last blog ..Challenge: 100 Miles =-.

  5. Beth F
    Twitter: BethFishReads
    says:

    Guess, what? I’m dowloading both these audios from my library right now! Thanks again for the review.
    .-= Beth F´s last blog ..Challenge: 100 Miles =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Beth – that’s great that your library had them available for download!

  6. This sounds like a great novel. Thanks for sharing your review.
    .-= A Bookshelf Monstrosity´s last blog ..Books By Theme: Supernatural Romance =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Bookshelf Monstrosity – you’re welcome – thanks for stopping by!

  7. nomadreader
    Twitter: nomadreader
    says:

    I’ve been meaning to read this one for years. I’m glad you liked it! I’ve been toying with the idea of Newbery Challenge to encourage myself to read more of the winners and finalists.
    .-= nomadreader´s last blog ..illustrated novel review: the three incestuous sisters by audrey niffenegger =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Nomad – that sounds like a great idea for a challenge! There are so many Newbery winners that I haven’t read.

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  9. Pingback: Audiobook Review: Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata | BOOKS AND MOVIES

  10. liz says:

    this book made me cry but i loved it so much.