Bookworms, Rejoice! Newbery Award Goes to AA Author

January 18, 2005

I read every book that Judy Blume ever wrote, and some trashy series like the Babysitter’s Club or this one about cheerleaders. But I also read a lot of books that won Newbery medals. This award, for those of you who may not be so in the know about children’s literature, is the Pulitzer prize of children’s books.

I don’t remember reading too many stories that had Asian American protagonists. Or even Asian American characters, for that matter. In fact, I can only think of one: In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord.

Well, now we can add another to the list. Yesterday, a novel about a Japanese American girl growing up in the South in the 1950s received the 2005 John Newbery Award. Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata tells the story of Katie, as she struggles to find her way in rural Georgia and deal with her sister’s death from lymphoma.

I may be all grown up now (more or less) but I think I’ll read it anyways.


Melissa Hung

Founding Editor

Melissa Hung is the founding editor of Hyphen. She was the editor in chief for the magazine's first five years and went on to serve in many other leadership roles on the staff and board for more than a decade. She is a writer and freelance journalist. Her essays and reported stories have appeared in NPR, Vogue, Pacific Standard, Longreads, and Catapult, among others. She grew up in Texas, the eldest child of immigrants. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.



i got so excited about this that i went amazon and ordered it. that's where i found out that there is a NEW MURAKAMI BOOK OUT!!!!how could that have slipped past me????