Katie rememebers the years before her sister died. The years in which everything that was delightful and glittery to Lynnie was Kira-Kira. For Japanese families in America in the 1950's life was hard. Few jobs were open to them. Both Mother and Father worked long long hours to make the dream of owning their own home come true. Money was always tight but family was important and Lynnie and Katie were special friends, sharing secrets, and hopes for the future. As Lynnie and Katie grow older, Lynnie becomes interested in popularity, makeup, guys so the girls grow apart, only to be drawn back together by Lynnie's illness. When Katie shares her experience stealing nail polish for her sick sister and other childish exploits this story is funny. When she celebrates Lynnie's life and learns from her own mistakes, this story is wise and hopeful. When Lynnie dies the story is achingly sad. This story won the 2005 Newbery Prize.