This article is about the young adult novel. For the provincial capital of the Solomon Islands, see Kira kira book pdf. Kira-Kira is a young adult novel by Cynthia Kadohata. It won the Newbery Medal for children’s literature in 2005.
The book’s plot is about a Japanese-American family living in Georgia. In the early 1950s, Katie and her family live in Iowa, where her parents own a Japanese supermarket. When the store goes out of business in 1956, the family moves from Iowa to an apartment in Georgia where Katie’s parents work at a hatchery with other Japanese families. Katie’s best friend is her older sister Lynn, whom Katie looks up to as the most intelligent person she knows.
When they first move to Georgia, Lynn guides Katie around her new surroundings and teaches her to always be positive about things. In this period, Lynn is portrayed to be highly sensible and independent as she teaches Katie to save money for their parents. When Katie enters school, she has difficulty being the only Japanese-American in her class. Her grades are solid average C’s, in comparison to Lynn’s ongoing straight A’s. Lynn makes a friend whose name is Amber and also grows to be a teenager, becoming interested in boys and spending more time with her friends and lesser time with Katie. Lynn is eventually diagnosed with lymphoma and becomes even sicker and then her friends dump her.
The family moves into a house of Lynn’s choice to help her recover, which appears to work for a short time. However, Lynn relapses from distress when Sammy is caught in a metal animal trap on the vast property owned by Mr. Lyndon, the owner of the hatchery. Lynn’s condition continues to deteriorate and she becomes blank and irritable.
Some time later, Katie is woken up from her sleep to be told Lynn had died. Katie realizes why Lynn had taught her the word kira-kira as Lynn wanted her to always look at the world as a shining place and to never lose hope, though there might be harsh hurdles. Katie tries to support her grief-stricken parents by performing household chores and cooking, tasks she had formerly despised. Throughout this difficult time, Katie becomes just like Lynn, a sensible and independent girl.
The same day Lynn dies, Katie’s usually calm and restrained father breaks into an angry rage after seeing Sammy struggle with the limp that he had from getting caught in the trap. He takes Katie and wrecks Mr. Lyndon’s car, an act which shocks her. Later on, he goes to Mr. Lyndon and owns up to what he did, resulting in him getting fired. When the drama dies down, Katie is left with Lynn’s diary. On reading it, she realizes that Lynn knew she was going to die and had written a will four days before her death.