Book Review of Kira-Kira

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Kira-kira is Japanese for shining; glittering. Kira-kira is the way Lynn Takeshima sees the world and she is determined her little sister Katie sees the world that way too. Before the end of the young adult novel of the same name by Cynthia Kadohata, the reader sees the world as kira-kira, as well.

Set in the late 1950s and early 1960s, "Kira-Kira" is the story of a Japanese family that lives in the Midwest. When their mother and father's Oriental grocery store goes out of business, the family moves to Georgia so the parents can work in a chicken factory. It is in Georgia that their little brother Sammy is born, Lynn gets a friend other than Katie and Katie learns what it means to grow up.

Though this book is about a Japanese family, the author does a wonderful job of letting the reader see that some human emotions and experiences are the same no matter what ethnicity one is. The lives of Japanese families are also more easily understood by those who may never have had the opportunity to know a family like the Takeshimas.

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