Cynthia Kadohata

Cynthia Kadohata is the author of the National Book Award winner The Thing About Luck, the Newbery Medal-winning book Kira-Kira, the Jane Addams Peace Award and Pen USA Award winner Weedflower, Cracker!, Outside Beauty, A Million Shades of Gray, and several critically acclaimed adult novels, including The Floating World. She has published numerous short stories in such literary journals as the New Yorker, Ploughshares, Grand Street, and the Mississippi Review. She lives with her son and dog in West Covina, California. 

Books by This Author

A Million Shades of Gray

Age Level: 12-14

Eleven-year-old Y'Tin is the youngest elephant trainer in his village. When the Vietcong invades, Y'Tin and his friend Y'Juen flee into the jungle where they care for a beloved elephant and search for relatives who survived the attack. Torn between his love for his animal and the lure of safety in Thailand, Y'Tin grapples with his future.

Cracker! The Best Dog in Vietnam

Age Level: 12-14

Rick Hanski is headed to Vietnam. There, he's going to whip the world and prove to his family and his sergeant -- and everyone else who didn't think he was cut out for war -- wrong.  When Cracker is paired with Rick, she isn't so sure about this new owner. He's going to have to prove himself to her before she's going to prove herself to him.

Kira-Kira

Age Level: 9-12

This tender novel describes a loving Japanese-American family from the point of view of the younger sister. Personal challenges and family tragedy, particularly the older sister's struggle with lymphoma, are set against the oppressive social climate of the South during the 1950s and early 1960s.

The Thing About Luck

Age Level: 9-12

There is bad luck, good luck, and making your own luck — which is exactly what Summer must do to save her family in this winner of the National Book Award by Newbery Medalist Cynthia Kadohata. Summer knows that kouun means "good luck" in Japanese, and this year her family has none of it. Just when she thinks nothing else can possibly go wrong, an emergency whisks her parents away to Japan — right before harvest season.

Weedflower

Age Level: 12-14

Sumiko and her family are shipped to a Japanese internment camp in one of the hottest places in California after the events of Pearl Harbor. She was raised in California on a flower farm and now instead of flowers, she must endure dust storms regularly. In her old life she was accustomed to being the only Japanese girl in her class. Now they find themselves on an Indian reservation and are as unwelcome there as anywhere. She finally finds a friend in one Mohave boy. There they do their best to rebuild their lives and create a community.