Bronze and Sunflower

by Cao Wenxuan and Meilo So

Sunflower is the young daughter of an artist living in a Cadre School across the... read more

Sunflower is the young daughter of an artist living in a Cadre School across the river from the Chinese village of Damaidi. Bronze is a village boy who has been mute since a fire years before. Both children are lonely and after meeting at the river they form a close friendship. When Sunflower’s father dies, Bronze’s family takes her in. Sunflower quickly becomes a beloved younger sister to Bronze and beloved daughter and granddaughter to his parents and Nainai. Because he can’t speak Bronze has never gone to school. He was finally going to start when Sunflower joined their family. They use the school fees they’d saved to send her instead. Aware of this sacrifice, Sunflower gives back by teaching Bronze what she learns, but as she gets older she wants to do more to help her family. A story grounded in vivid details—of characters and relationships, of place, of events—follows the family across several years. A sense of community also emerges—the village has its characters, including a mean-spirited boy who is Bronze and Sunflower’s nemesis—in a novel set in the waning years of the Cultural Revolution. Engaging episodic chapters offering moments of humor and abundant warmth make this an ideal read-aloud choice. (Ages 7-10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2018

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