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Author: Cynthia Kadohata
Publisher: Athenuem, New York, 2004
Setting: Georgia, Past
Main Character: Katie Takeshima
Summary: Katie and her family move from a Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia in the 1950s. Her parents face terrible jobs and long hours of work at the hatchery and poultry plant. Katie really loves her big sister, Lynn. She teaches Katie mostly everything she knows from how the sky, ocean, and people's eyes are special to prejudice. The two girls dream of buying a new house. To make it come true, they saved up their money. When they had one hundred dollars, they gave it to their parents and bought a new house. They were so thrilled. Everything was perfect until Lynn becomes very ill. She has Lymphoma disease. Katie's family begins to fall apart and now it's up to her to make them the way it was. She did by reminding them that there is something out there in the future and by doing Lynn's promises and wishes. Katie does her best to remember Lynn's "Kira-Kira" (glittering; shining) view on life.
Theme: The theme of this book is love and hope. Since Katie and Lynn care about their family, their love helps their problems. Their hope brings luck.
Reaction: I loved this book. I have to admit I cried at certain times. I was so moved and touched by its compassion. This is an inspiring book for young people. I am so happy it exists.