Wednesday, July 5, 2017

CHARACTER COUNTS: Bronze and Sunflower

Bronze and Sunflower
By Wenxuan Cao
Translated from Chinese by Helen Wang
Candlewick,  2017. Fiction. 386 p.
In rural China during the Cultural Revolution, Sunflower meets a mute country boy named Bronze while her father works at a cadre school. When her father dies, Sunflower is adopted by Bronze's family. Although they are very poor, the family loves Sunflower and make great sacrifices so that she can go to school and have a good life.  She, in turn comes to love her new family, and especially her new brother, with all her heart.

Cao's descriptions of the people and life in the humble village of Damadai are so intimate that the reader finishes the book feeling like they have actually traveled to a different time and place.  Cao doesn't sugarcoat the hardships the family goes through, but every chapter of the book is a testament that, with love, families can make it through any trial. This is a great choice for readers who like the books of Gloria Whelan or Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and would be a great choice for a family or book club to read and discuss together.

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