2005 Medal Winner
"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 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."
I think this is one of my favorites so far, quite honestly. Lynn and Katie's relationship is so sweet and special, it reminds me why I always wanted a sister. The parents are extremely hard-working despite the adversities and prejudice they encounter being minorities in the South in the 1950's. I'm not going to give away the ending...I'll just say that it is equally heart-warming and heart-wrenching. Definitely keep a box of tissues nearby!