Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

kirakiraKira-Kira means glittering. Katie’s sister, Lynn, taught her this. Katie adores and loves her sister too much. As sisters, they mostly do everything together. Lynn taught Katie mostly everything. Katie wants to be like Lynn. From Iowa, they moved to Georgia for a better life. The story took place in the 1950’s and at that time, the people in Iowa were not very friendly to them. Lynn got sick and their family is faced with many roadblocks. Life seemed not very glittering anymore.

The book was narrated in a very gentle way by Katie as a child with a child’s understanding of things. Though the story dealt with difficult topics like death and racism, it was still easy to read even for children.

Kira-Kira is a powerful and engaging read. It has its moments of happiness and moments of ultimate sadness. The ending was quite sad but the lessons learned while reading were all worth the read.

Quotable Quotes:

“My sister had taught me to look at the world that way, as a place that glitters, as a place where the calls of the crickets and the crows and the wind are everyday occurrences that also happen to be magic.”

“Some days I think she was really miserable, because she cried a lot. In a way, I’d had to steel my heart to her crying. You need to steel yourself to a lot of things when someone in your family is really sick.”

“The blue of the sky is one of the most special colors in the world, because the color is deep but see-through both at the same time.”

Rating: 4/5 stars