Literature / Kira-Kira

A novel by Cynthia Kadohata that won the Newbery Medal for Children's Literature in 2005.

Taking place in the 1950s, the story revolves around Katie Takeshima, a Japanese-American girl who looks up to her sister, Lynn, because she reminds Katie to always look at the bright side of life by knowing that the future is always glittering: kira-kira. After her parents move from Iowa to Georgia to get jobs at chicken hatcheries, Lynn develops anemia and later lymphoma.

Do not confuse with the Japanese Visual Novel Kira-Kira.

Needs Wiki Magic Love.

Kira-Kira provides examples of:

  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Hank Garvin, one of the few whites in the story not racist towards the Takeshima family and the man who drives Sam to the hospital after getting stuck in a bear trap. He's so handsome, Katie forgets why she's knocking at his door.
  • Bittersweet Ending
  • Child Prodigy: Lynn can beat her Uncle Katsuhisa, a self-proclaimed chess grand master, at his own game.
  • Coming-of-Age Story
  • Death by Newbery Medal
  • Deep South: The family moves to Georgia
  • Dying Wish: Lynn's wish was to for Katie to get good grades, go to college, and take care of Mom,Dad, and Sammy.
  • Flower Motifs: At Lynn's burial. Most of the mourner's throw roses into Lynn's grave, while Uncle Katsuhisa throws a yellow daisy and Katie a cosmos. Dad throws a white rose as a symbol of royalty and innocence.
  • Hatsuyume: Mentioned. Katie talks about writing down her first dream of the new year as well as watching the sunrise with other families. Unfortunately,Lynn's death deprives her of good sleep for one.
  • Ill Girl: Lynn, who has lymphoma.
  • Innocent Prodigy: Lynn.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: "It seemed that at this moment I was inside a story. This was the story of my life, and I did not know what any of it meant."
  • Motor Mouth: Uncle Katsuhisa
  • The '60s
  • The Stoic: Masao Takeshima,Lynn and Katie's dad. He's compared to the sea on a windless day, calm and mild. Naturally, him wrecking Mr. Lyndon's car after he's had enough Lynn's death and medical bills and Sammy's injury is a major Out-of-Character Moment
    • Even when he's apologizing for said Out-of-Character Moment and subsequently fired for it, he still maintains his dignity. Katie is quite impressed by this.