Cynthia Kadohata (Hardcover)
Genre: Fiction; Book Themes: Family, Multicultural
"Kira-Kira" by Cynthia Kadohata is a beautifully written fiction novel for young adults. The 2005 Newbery Medal winner tells a moving story from the point of view of Katie, a Japanese American girl, whose family moves to Georgia in the late 1950s. Kira-Kira means glittering in Japanese. Katie loves her elder sister, Lynn. It is Lynn who teaches her to appreciate "Kira-Kira" in daily life. When Lynn falls ill with lymphoma, the family has to struggle like never before. Their parents work extremely long hours in bad working conditions to pay for Lynn's medical bills and their house. But the love and bond between the family members help them through it all. "Kira-Kira" appeals to teens in 8th grade and up. Girls will especially empathize with the main characters of this award-winning book.
Charles Dickens (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction; Book Theme: Christmas
"A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens is a great classic Christmas story that has delighted readers for generations. The main character of this holiday classic is Ebenezer Scrooge, a cold-hearted and mean-spirited old man. Scrooge is such a stingy miser that he demands his clerk come in early the next day after reluctantly granting him Christmas Day off. When his nephew Fred comes to say Merry Christmas and invite him to a Christmas dinner, Scrooge replies with "Bah Humbug". He has absolutely no Christmas spirit, and even scares away a boy who sings him a Christmas carol. After returning to his apartment on Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his late business partner, Jacob Marley, then by three Christmas spirits. The Ghost of Christmas Past leads Scrooge to revisit those Christmas days during his childhood and during his apprenticeship with Mr. Fezziwig. The Ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge to the homes of his clerk Bob Crotchets and his nephew where they are having jolly Christmas celebrations. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows him what a bleak future is in for him if he does not change his ways. By Christmas morning, Scrooge has undergone a dramatic change. He becomes kind, generous and eager to share his Christmas spirit with everyone, including Mr. Crotchets' disabled son Tiny Tim. Charles Dickens' Scrooge is one of the most memorable characters in English literature. "A Christmas Carol" appeals to teens and adults.