Sakura 2020 Kickoff – September 24th

We’ve got spirit,
Yes we do!
We read books,
How ’bout you?

Sakura Medal Award – Mission

The mission of the Sakura Medal Reading Award Program is to create a community of lifelong readers in international schools in Japan. The Librarians of Japan aim for a diverse selection of fantastic and engaging books. The Sakura Medal Reading Award Program has been in existence since 2006. The Sakura Book Bowl Program for Grades 4-5 was added in 2010. In addition to setting a personal goal for their Sakura Reading Log, elementary students at ASIJ have a variety of participation options.


Below is a list of participation options.

Something NEW for ASIJ Sakura 2020!

Going for the gold…Can we bring home the trophy 3 years in a row? This year’s Sakura Book Bowl competition will be held at St. Mary’s International School on April 28, 2020.

Something NEW for ASIJ Sakura 2020!
Click here go view last year’s entries: Sakura Medal Art Competition
Something NEW for Sakura 2020!
You must be present during lunch recess to win!
Mustangs are always searching for fantastic books!

Recommended Sakura Books – Grade 2

The Blue Whale by Jenni Desmondthe-blue-whale

This beautifully written and illustrated narrative nonfiction book by Jenni Desmond is full of interesting facts about this beloved mammal.  Includes facts that help to make the size and habits of the blue whale interesting and easily understandable.

Anything But Ordinary Addie by Mara Rockliff


This biography tells the true story of one fearless magician’s rise to glory.  After Addie’s husband, Herrmann the Great dies, she is determined to perform their magic show all by herself. Magic lovers beware…this book also includes instructions for performing one of Addie‘s original tricks.

Red A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall

This is a funny book about a serious topic and you are going to enjoy reading  it again and again.  A blue crayon is mistakenly labeled as “red” suffers AND suffers AND suffers an identity crisis. Michael Hall reminds us of the importance of being true to our inner selves and following our own paths, even when obstacles are put in our way.


Recommended Sakura Books – Grade 1

Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry


Tom Lichtenheld’s illustrations make Beth Ferry’s characters come alive. This is a simple rhyming text that includes an anti-bullying message.  This book is sure to please fans of Elephant and Piggie, Frog and Toad, and George and Martha.  Teachers, counselors and parents will find this book helpful anytime the issue of bullying arises.

How to Read A Story by Kate Messner


Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie


This book is for anyone who has ever wanted to change their name.  If you like Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes, you will thoroughly enjoy Sherman Alexie and Caldecott winner Yuyi Morales new book.  This picture book has already started winning 2016 book awards.  Will this book get your vote for the Sakura Medal this year?


Recommended Sakura Books – Grade 5

Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper


When a burning cross set by the Klan causes panic and fear in 1932 Bumblebee, North Carolina, fifth-grader Stella must face prejudice and find the strength to demand change in her segregated town.

The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste


Masterminds by Gordon Korman


A group of kids discovers they were cloned from the DNA of some of the greatest criminal masterminds in history for a sociological experiment.

For more Sakura Book Trailers  (click here).


Recommended Sakura Reads – Grade 4

Diamonds and Daggers by Elen Caldecott


Hollywood star Betty Massino has come to town Piotr and his friends Andrew and Minnie couldn’t be more excited! But when the famous actress’s hugely expensive diamond necklace goes missing, Piotr’s dad is a prime suspect.  With the help of Sylvie and her twin sister Flora, can Piotr, Andrew and Minnie solve the crime or will Piotr and his family have to move back to Poland?

Wild Robot by Peter Brown


Roz, the robot, discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island with no memory of where she is from or why she is there. Her only hope of survival is to try to learn about her new environment and the animals that live there. This is picture book writer, Peter Brown’s first book for middle grade readers.

Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban


Near the start of World War II, young Manami, her parents, and Grandfather are evacuated from their home in Washington state and sent to Manzanar, an ugly, dreary internment camp in the desert for Japanese-American citizens.  This is a very readable historical fiction book about a dark time in American history.

For more Sakura Book Trailers  (click here).