2. Genre and Awards:
Young Adult/Japanese American
Newberry Award Winner
Katie and Lynn are sisters, and best friends. Their family moves from
Katie is the main character. She matures throughout this novel, beginning when she is five years old until she is around 12. The novel also incorporates
When Katie’s family moves to
6. Needs of adolescents:
This book would connect with girls who are trying to figure out where they belong. It would also be good for anyone who is experiencing death or the illness of someone close to them. I also think the book deals with class issues and cultural issues that many people may not even be aware of.
7. Possible Classroom Uses:
I think this book would be a great introduction into cultural stories, like The Pearl. I also think it would be interesting to explore language, for example, “kira-kira” means glittering or shining, but Katie and Lynn use it to describe many things that their mother doesn’t agree with. This could open up many avenues about words and meanings, phrases, different cultural language, figurative language and many other concepts that are swirling in my brain right now! I think this could work as a real-aloud, class novel, reading group or independent recommendation.
Middle and junior high students would really enjoy this book.
9. Personal Reactions:
I liked this book because it is really the first “girl” book I have attempted. While I usually like more action, this book was moving. The realistic look at illness and grief was particularly touching. I liked the fact that Katie was not afraid to admit her feelings, and I think a lot of kids can identify with feeling one thing when they know they should be feeling something else.