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Cynthia Kadohata facts for kids

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Cynthia Kadohata
Kadohata in 2014-2015
Kadohata in 2014-2015
Born (1956-07-02) July 2, 1956 (age 66)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Occupation Writer
Alma mater USC
Genre Children's and Young-adult literature
Notable works
Notable awards Whiting Award
Newbery Medal
National Book Award
Children Sammy

Cynthia Kadohata (born July 2, 1956) is a Japanese American children's writer best known for her young adult novel Kira-Kira which won the Newbery Medal in 2005. She won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature in 2013 for The Thing About Luck.


Kadohata was born in Chicago, Illinois. Her first published short story appeared in The New Yorker in 1986. She received a BA in journalism from the University of Southern California. She also attended graduate programs at the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia University.

Weedflower, her second children's book, was published in Spring 2006. It is about the Poston internment camp where her father was imprisoned during World War II. Her third children's novel, Cracker! The Best Dog in Vietnam about the Vietnam War from a war dog's perspective, was published in January 2007 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

Outside Beauty, another children's novel, was published in 2008. It is about a 13-year-old girl and her three sisters, all fathered by different men and what happens when she and her sisters are separated from each other after their mother gets into an accident.

Kadohata lives in Los Angeles with her boyfriend, son, and dogs.


  • The Floating World (Viking, 1989)
  • In the Heart of the Valley of Love (Viking, 1992)
  • The Glass Mountains (Clarkston, GA, White Wolf Pub, 1995), illus. Terese Nielson and Larry S. Friedman
  • Kira-Kira (Atheneum, 2004)
Newbery Medal
Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature - Youth Literature
  • Cracker! The Best Dog in Vietnam (Atheneum, 2007)
California Young Reader Medal, 2011
North Carolina Children's Book Award, Ohio Buckeye Children's Book Award, Nebraska Golden Sower, Kansas William Allen White Children's Book Award, South Carolina Junior Book Award
  • Outside Beauty (Atheneum, 2008)
  • A Million Shades of Gray (Atheneum, 2010)
  • The Thing About Luck (Atheneum, 2013), illustrated by Julia Kuo
National Book Award for Young People's Literature
Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature - Youth Literature
  • Half a World Away (Atheneum, 2014)
  • Checked (Atheneum, 2018)
  • A Place to Belong (Atheneum, 2019)
Women's History Month on Kiddle
Women Scientists of Antiquity
Mary the Jewess
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