Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Cynthia Kadohata  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult; Children;

Born: 1956 in Chicago, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Wikipedia --
-- on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Kadohata was born in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Cynthia Kadohata is the author of the Newbery Medal winning book ''Kira-Kira'', the National Book Award winner ''The Thing About Luck'', the Jane Addams Peace Award and Pen USA Award winner ''Weedflower'', ''Cracker!,'' ''Outside Beauty'', ''A Million Shades of Gray'', ''Half a World Away,'' and several critically acclaimed adult novels, including ''The Floating World''.

She has lived in Chicago, Georgia, Arkansas, Michigan, Los Angeles, Boston, Pittsburgh, and New York City. Currently, she resides in West Covina, California.


'Kira-Kira ' Newbery Medal, 2005 Starred Review, Booklist Notable Children's Books, ALA Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Booklinks Lasting Connections Editors' Choice, Booklist Capitol Choices List, Washington DC Cooperative Children's Book Council Choices Charlotte Award Reading List, New York Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award master, Vermont Junior Library Guild selection Kiriyama Prize Notable Book Top Pick, KSRC Middle School Titles Nene Award Master List, Hawaii Books for the Teen Age, New York Public Library Pacific Northwest Young Reader's Choice Award Master List Thumbs Up! Award Master List, Michigan 'Weedflower ' Jane Addams Peace Award Pen USA Award Starred Review, Booklist Starred Review,School Library Journal Asterisked Review, KLIATT Top Ten Summer Pick, BookSense Junior Library Guild selection 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, New York Public Library One Book for Kids, Arizone, 2007 Our Community Reads, St. Charles, Illinois Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Book Award Bluebonnet Master List, Texas, 2007-08 'Cracker! ' Spring Pick, Booksense, 2007 Premier Selection, Junior Library Guild Audio Selection, Listening Library Scholastic Book Fair selection Scholastic Book Club selection Kids Vote State Award, Kansas Kids Vote State Award, Nebraska Kids Vote State Award, North Carolina Kids Vote, State Award, Ohio Kids Vote State Award, South Carolina 'A Million Shades of Gray ' Starred Review, Publishers Weekly 'The Thing About Luck ' National Book Award, 2013 Junior Literary Guild Selection Starred Review, Kirkus Starred Review, Booklist Starred Review, Publishers Weekly A Place to Belong Starred Review, Horn Book Magazine Checked Starred Review, Publishers Weekly Starred Review, Booklist

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability: Skype Visits Only. The author very rarely makes appearances anymore but will do Skype visits free of charge. You can contact her through the Appearances page on her website.

Selected Titles At Your Library

A million shades of gray
ISBN: 9781442429192. OCLC Number: 758673766

Atheneum Books for Young Readers,. .

In 1975 after American troops pull out of Vietnam, a thirteen-year-old boy and his beloved elephant escape into the jungle when the Viet Cong attack his village.

A place to belong /
ISBN: 1481446649. OCLC Number: 1056736228

. .

Twelve-year-old Hanako and her family, reeling from their confinement in an internment camp, renounce their American citizenship to move to Hiroshima, a city devastated by the atomic bomb dropped by Americans.

Checked /
ISBN: 1481446614. OCLC Number: 1001251121

. .

Hockey is Conor's life. His whole life. He'll say it himself, he's a hockey beast. It's his dad's whole life too--and Conor is sure that's why his stepmom, Jenny, left. There are very few things Conor and his dad love more than the game, and one of those things is their Doberman, Sinbad. When Sinbad is diagnosed with cancer, Conor chooses to put his hockey lessons and practices on hold so they can pay for Sinbad's chemotherapy. But without hockey to distract him, Conor begins to notice more. Like his dad's crying bouts, and his friend's difficult family life. And then Conor notices one more thing: Without hockey, the one thing that makes him feel special, is he really special at all?

Cracker! :
ISBN: 141690638X. OCLC Number: 70258988

. .

A young soldier in Vietnam bonds with his bomb-sniffing dog.

Half a world away
ISBN: 9781442382558. OCLC Number: 1014252279

Simon & Schuster Audio :. .

A kid who considers himself an epic fail discovers the transformative power of love when he deals with adoption in this novel from Cynthia Kadohata. Eleven-year-old Jaden is adopted, and he knows he's an epic fail.' That's why his family is traveling to Kazakhstan to adopt a new baby-to replace him, he's sure. And he gets it. He is incapable of stopping his stealing, hoarding, lighting fires, aggressive running, and obsession with electricity. He knows his parents love him, but he feels ... nothing. But when they get to Kazakhstan, it turns out the infant they've travelled for has already been adopted, and literally within minutes are faced with having to choose from six other babies. While his parents agonize, Jaden is more interested in the toddlers. One, a little guy named Dimash, spies Jaden and barrels over to him every time he sees him. Jaden finds himself increasingly intrigued by and worried about Dimash. Already three years old and barely able to speak, Dimash will soon age out of the orphanage, and then his life will be as hopeless as Jaden feels now. For the first time in his life, Jaden actually feels something that isn't pure blinding fury, and there's no way to control it, or its power. From camels rooting through garbage like raccoons, to eagles being trained like hunting dogs, to streets that are more pothole than pavement, Half a World Away is Cynthia Kadohata's latest spark of a novel.

In the heart of the valley of love /
ISBN: 0520207289. OCLC Number: 35192345

University of California Press,. .

This novel explores human relationships in a Los Angeles of the future, where rich and poor are deeply polarized and where water, food, gas and education cannot be taken for granted.

ISBN: 9781439106600. OCLC Number: 869439925

Atheneum Books for Young Readers,. .

Chronicles the close friendship between two Japanese-American sisters growing up in rural Georgia during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and the despair when one sister becomes terminally ill. 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 them 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. Luminous in its persistence of love and hope, Kira-Kira is Cynthia Kadohata's stunning debut in middle-grade fiction.

Outside beauty /
ISBN: 0689865759. OCLC Number: 181079145

Atheneum Books for Young Readers,. .

Thirteen-year-old Shelby and her three sisters must go to live with their respective fathers while their mother, who has trained them to rely on their looks, recovers from a car accident that scarred her face.

The floating world /
ISBN: 0345381629. OCLC Number: 27985090

Ballantine Books,. .

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Magical The Floating World, is about families; coming of age, guilt, memory. It is also about being Japanese-American in the United States in the 1950's. -- New York Times Book Review. In the 1950s, Olivia and her extended family travel along California's coast while her stepfather works at transient jobs, and although her grandmother annoys her with her stories, after her grandmother's death, the stories continue to guide Olivia in her life.

The Glass Mountains.
ISBN: 1497644593. OCLC Number: 891617015

. .

"Mariska could not be happier. Living an almost fairy-tale life, she is popular, adored by her parents, and is engaged to be married to the most attractive man in her village. But her world is torn when war approaches the peaceful village of Bakshami. Mariska risks everything she has in order to search for her parents who left to negotiate and find peace. With a young warrior as her companion, she travels beyond the safety of her village. Together they search for Mariska's parents and peace for their village in a time of terrible uncertainty."--Back cover.

The thing about luck
ISBN: 9781442382541. OCLC Number: 894504699

. .

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. Summer and her little brother, Jaz, are left in the care of their grandparents, who come out of retirement in order to harvest wheat and help pay the bills. The thing about Obaachan and Jiichan is that they are old-fashioned and demanding.

ISBN: 9781416975663. OCLC Number: 226360149

Aladdin Paperbacks,. .

After twelve-year-old Sumiko and her Japanese-American family are relocated from their flower farm in southern California to an internment camp on a Mojave Indian reservation in Arizona, she helps her family and neighbors, becomes friends with a local Indian boy, and tries to hold on to her dream of owning a flower shop.