Cynthia Kadohata was born on July 2, 1956. She is a Japanese American author of children's books. Kadohata won the Newbery Medal in 2005 for her title, Kira-Kira. She also won a PEN award in 2006 for Weedflower and in 2013 she won the U.S. National Book Award for The Thing About Luck. Kadohata was born in Chicago, Illinois, and was a high school drop out. She attained a BA in Journalism from the University of Southern California and went on to attend graduate programs at the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia University.