Category Archives: Sakura

Sakura Medal Winners 2021






Congratulations to all of the students who read Sakura Medal books this year! 

 3,611 books were read by students in Grades 2-5.

17 students read all of the books in at least one category this year and a big shout-out to Tera Kobayashi and Mia Kagimoto who read all 46 books.

2T, 3M, 4W and 5C read the most books for their grade levels.

And a special congratulations to 5C for reading 295 Sakura Medal Books!


Picture Books

Emily 2T, Cailey 2P, Levy 2Y, Neil 3M, Cameron 3Be,

Saki 4W Elise 4Y

Picture Book & Graphic Novels

Luca 3Be, Hugo 3M, Amel 3Be

Graphic Novels

Yuzuki 4K, Kyoka 4K, Kaia 4W

Len 5C, Rania Jain 5R

Chapter Books

Lynn 4K

All Books

Tera 4W and Mia 4W

Sakura Book of the Week

Asa Stahl, a graduate student in astrophysics at Rice University, never expected to write a children’s book. His book, The Big Bang, presents the mystery of how the universe began in a way we can all understand.

Have you ever wondered how the universe began?

What do we know about the universe?

What don’t we know about the universe?

Sakura Book Bowl 2021

If you are in Grades 4-5 and love to read, you might enjoy the Sakura Book Bowl after school activity which begins in January. Elimination rounds will take place in March. Elimination rounds for the “traveling team” will be in mid-March. Twelve book bowlers who qualify for the “traveling team” will participate in this year’s Sakura Book Bowl Tournament at the end of April.

You will be required to participate in weekly activities, keep a reader’s notebook and read three books from one of the categories below, as well as two additional “everyone reads” books. If you qualify for the team, you will be required to read an additional “expert” book.

Save the World

Rich & Riveting Page Turners

Heartfelt & Honest

Sticking Out & Fitting In

Everyone Reads

Expert Books

What is the Sakura Medal?


The Sakura Medal program brings together students from international schools across Japan each year to vote for their favorite books.

Each year, librarians from various international schools meet and select 25-30 books in each of the Sakura Medal categories (Picture Books, Graphic  Novels,Chapter Books, Middle School, High School, Japanese Picture Books, Japanese Chapter Books, Japanese Middle School, and Japanese High School).  Books are chosen that are no more than two years old and that are from a variety of backgrounds and across a wide range of reading abilities.

Students who read five books (four for Middle School and three for High School books) in any category will be eligible to vote for their favorite.  Votes will then be tallied across all participating schools and the winning author in each category will receive a Sakura Medal.  While staff and parents are encouraged to participate, voting is only open to students. The deadline for voting will vary for each participating school, so please contact your library for details.

While all are welcome to comment on any of the books on this site, we reserve the right to not publish or remove any offensive, off-topic, or unnecessary comments.

Sakura is the Japanese word for cherry blossoms, which are celebrated in Japan each year as a sign of spring.