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Publisher's Summary

kira-kira (kee' ra kee' ra): glittering; shining

Glittering. That's how Katie Takeshima's sister, Lynn, makes everything seem. The sky is kira-kira because its color is deep but see-through at the same time. The sea is kira-kira for the same reason. And so are people's eyes. When Katie and her family move from a Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, it's Lynn who explains to her why people stop them on the street to stare. And it's Lynn who, with her special way of viewing the world, teaches Katie to look beyond tomorrow. But when Lynn becomes desperately ill, and the whole family begins to fall apart, it is up to Katie to find a way to remind them all that there is always something glittering, kira-kira, in the future.

Luminous in its persistence of love and hope, Kira-Kira is Cynthia Kadohata's stunning debut in middle-grade fiction. Kira-Kira won the 2005 Newbery Medal for most distinguished American children's book.

Click here to see a full list of Newbery Medal winners and Newbery Honor winners.
©2005 Cynthia Kadohata (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Critic Reviews

  • Newbery Medal Winner, 2005

"Lynn's ability to teach Katie to appreciate the "kira-kira", or glittering, in everyday life makes this novel shine." (Publishers Weekly)
"In her first novel for young people, Kadohata stays true to the child's viewpoint in plain, beautiful prose that can barely contain the passionate feelings." (Booklist)
"All of the characters are believable and well developed....Girls will relate to and empathize with the appealing protagonist." (School Library Journal)

What listeners say about Kira-Kira

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An Emotional Rollercoaster

I listened to this book in the car with my kids aged 5, 8 and 12, as we drove to our vacation spot. All four of us loved it, although it might be a tad too mature for most kids under the age of 8. The poignant story made us laugh and also made us cry (well, mostly I cried, truth be told). It raised many issues for discussion: segregation, family values and matters of life and death. The story offered a peek into the experience of one Japanese-American family moving from Iowa to Georgia in order to improve their quality of life. Beautifully written and also beautifully narrated.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Kira-Kira

The prose is as shimmering, transparent, and soulful as the title.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful family fair!

This is a wonderfully stirring book with a wonderful narrator. On an road trip, my family (kids 4-10, mother, grandmother) listened with rapt attention. We laughed, we sympathised, and the children asked questions that led to wonderful discussions. A wonderful way to spend a trip or an evening at home. Definitely beats hearing "Are we there yet?" over and over.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great for a Car Trip with Kiddos

This book talks about death in a way that is dealable. It's a great book to listen to on a short road trip with kiddos, and then start a conversation about death if need be. It lends itself to that. For someone without that intent and just wanting a story, the character development is nice, but it felt like the story was blotchy--missing pieces. It was nice enough, but if it were more than 5 hours, it would have lost my interest.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Good soup

It is well narrated and full of emotion. There is a good theme that is demonstrated in the book.

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A Sister's Love

This story was beautifully written. Reminded me of the book; My Sister's Keeper. I loved it then and I still love it now. I read this book 16 years ago and it still tugs at my heart strings. Definitely, worth the listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Told very well

I loved this book as a kid and decided to revisit it with audible. I love this story, so sweet. The narration was so good it made it that much more enjoyable

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Heart-Warming

I read this book years ago as a kid, and I still love it today.

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  • 08-16-18

Sparkling

Kira Kira was a heartbreaking story with "sparkling" detail of each character, setting and event.

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    5 out of 5 stars

The book was really great

I like the story because it hooked you in and I could not stop listening.📔