Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Cynthia KADOHATA (2004),  Kira-kira, Aladdin
By Ainara Vasquez  2A  E.S.O.

Katie Takeshima’s sister, Lynn, makes everything seem kira-kira: glittering. Lynn is intelligent, independent, kind and, most of all, she loves Katie more than anything in the world, and Katie loves her. When Katie and her family move from a small Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, it’s Lynn who explains why people stare and why they treat them differently, and it’s Lynn who gives Katie hope. But when Lynn becomes desperately ill, and her whole family begins to fall apart, Katie must try to remind them all that there is always something bright in the future.

Katie Takeshima is only six years old at the beginning of the book, and ten in the end. But despite her young age she is bright, curious and a very endearing girl with an unconditional love for her older sister.

In the beginning there are many things that Katie wants to understand, but doesn’t. However, as the book develops and she gets older, she learns about life, love and pain. When Lynn becomes ill Katie matures and realises that her sister won’t be with her much longer and that she will have to learn to live without her, to be happy and to have faith in the future.

Some of the themes in the book are family, love, trust, racism, poverty, loss, grief and hope.

The part I liked best was when Katie’s uncle takes her and her best friend Silly camping. I really liked this part because it was the first time she had got out of the house since Lynn had fallen ill, and she managed to almost forget everything that was going on and enjoy herself, she freed herself from all the stress and sadness that a ten year old shouldn’t have to feel.

I would recommend this book to children aged 10 to 14. The reason I would recommend this book is because it’s inspiring and emotional. Also, it teaches you a lot about discrimination in America during the 60s, but from a different perspective. Usually, when you read about racism in the United States it is always about how the Negroes were discriminated, but not about other ethnic groups. You can also learn a lot about Japanese culture, but mostly it teaches you about life, loss, love and the importance of family.

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