If a book has a Newbery Medal, I don't want to read it. I'm always afraid that it'll be boring, sad, or inappropriate.
I honestly don't know why I feel this way. After all, I enjoyed Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell (despite the sad parts, which kind of helps my case) and was HIGHLY intrigued (though slightly confused) by When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. Obviously, both have Newbery Medals. I'm starting to wonder why in the world I have this instinct.
Just to throw you some more honesty, there are more Newbery winners I've read that I liked than Newbery winners I've read that I didn't like. They'd make a decent list. They really would.
What's up with this?
Anyway, on to today's Unfinished Adventure: Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata. As you might have guessed, this is one of those Newbery Medal winners that I didn't like, and couldn't even finish. It was boring, sad, and (practically) inappropriate all wrapped into one.
It's moving. It's about family. I can see why the majority of readers would find it unforgettable (in a good way).
To start, there are a few cuss words, including a really bad one that's drawn out so much that you can hardly recognize it - but still can. Finding that in a children's book stung. As I always do with a book I refuse to finish, I skipped to the end and discovered with horror that it concluded with nothing but TRAGEDY. It had been sad before, but apparently the tearful events that I cringed my way through only escalate to higher levels. Romance is barely mentioned, but what is mentioned is disgusting.
My conscience put its foot down, and I just had to obey it. I haven't read any of Kadohata's other books and have no idea what they're like, but Kira-Kira was simply a huge disappointment.