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Bronze and Sunflower

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  668 ratings  ·  171 reviews
When Sunflower, a young city girl, moves to the countryside, she grows to love the reed marsh lands - the endlessly flowing river, the friendly buffalo with their strong backs and shiny, round heads, the sky that stretches on and on in its vastness. However, the days are long, and the little girl is lonely. Then she meets Bronze, who, unable to speak, is ostracized by the ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 2nd 2015 by Walker Books (first published 2005)
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Yahui Zhu the book bronze and sunflower was originally published in China in 2005 , remainiing a bestseller in China.

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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  668 ratings  ·  171 reviews

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Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
China's Cultural Revolution (1960's-1970's) dramatically changed the lives of many city dwellers. Academics, artists and office workers were among those sent to Cadre Schools (labor camps). A seven year old city girl named Sunflower traveled to the Cadre School with her father, a renowned sculptor famous for his bronze sunflowers. Now living at the Cadre School, he was a team member sent to cut reeds and create crop fields and fish ponds. Nightly, he must attend political meetings. Sunflower was ...more
It’s odd. Parents these days. I meet so many of them that believe that to live in a globalized society it is imperative for their children to learn another language. That’s not the odd part. That’s a great thing. Suddenly you have all these immersion classes (usually just for kids that can afford them, but still) and six-year-olds speaking Mandarin and Spanish and more. No, for me the strange thing is that it stops right there. The kids are taught other languages and maybe some rudimentary facts ...more
Deacon Tom F
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4 1/2 stars

This is a lovely and moving story of a friendship between two lonely Chinese children, orphaned Sunflower and mute Bronze who were scarred by tragedy.

This novel is set in the Chinese countryside during the Cultural Revolution. It is a sunny plot and an easy flow, including beautifully constructed settings. Additionally their are values like a close-knit family, and a caring community.

To read these adventures is to sample the lifestyle ofChinese countryside. Their daily lives are diff
While meant for children, “Bronze and Sunflower” is a beautifully written book about the cultural revolution in China during the 1960s-70s that any age group can enjoy and learn from. The culture becomes alive, helped by the fact that it is translated into English. Everything rings true and authentic. I wish there were more books this good about other cultures. Highly recommended.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.
The Dusty Jacket
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sunflower was lonely. Her father was a revered sculptor in the city, but he—like so many others—had been sent to work at the Cadre School and now Sunflower has very little to do all day. To pass the time, she goes down to the river and looks to the other side at the village called Damaidi. In Damaidi, there is life, there is activity, and most of all, there are children. She dreams of what it might be like to go over there and play and explore. Then one day, Sunflower’s dad tragically drowns in ...more
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
reread this again because why not

Goal: Reread this every single year because it makes me cry. Legit. Even just thinking about it can make me cry. No, it's not sad. It's beautiful.
Erin Kelly
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lovely. Made me cry. I love Bronze and Sunflower. ❤️
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Set in rural China during the Cultural Revolution two children, Bronze and Sunflower, isolated and lonely for different reasons, befriend each other. Following the death of Sunflower's father, Bronze's family unofficially adopt Sunflower, (she has no living relatives). The story then follows the two children's friendship, adventures, and experiences living in a very poor but very happy and generous family. Although not without times of grief and real hardship, Bronze and Sunflower's lives are fu ...more
Heidi Burkhart
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Bronze and Sunflower," possibly the best children's novel that I have read in years, won the Hans Christian Anderson Award for literature in 2016. To be eligible for this award the winners must have made a lasting contribution to children's literature. Special criteria include "portrayal of universal themes with lasting human values". "Bronze and Sunflower" is so deserving of this award. The characters, story, settings, and writing were all so delicately woven to create this outstanding book. C ...more
Jan 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful story. Loved noticing the different narrative arc of this book (Chinese story, translated into English). Days later, I am still ruminating over the characters and whether the author created this novel as a beautiful story about an unconventional family or if it is all a metaphor of Chinese people's experience of Communism. As the former, it is readily acceptable to middle school readers. As the latter, to older readers. I suspect this book will haunt me for ages. ...more
Ana Cob
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a wonderful read. It was slow, quiet and soul touching. Just beautiful.
Little Sunflower's father works at a Cadre School across the river from the village of Damaidi. Sunflower's father is too busy working and attending political meetings to play with her. She's very lonely until she discovers a funny boy and his buffalo on the opposite side of the river. Bronze can not speak but he knows just what to do to make Sunflower smile. When Sunflower's father is killed in a freak weather accident, Sunflower is in need of a new home. The city folk ask a village family to t ...more
Short  Reviews
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“We might be poor,” said Nainai, “but we’re not so poor that we can’t feed that little girl. If we all ate a little less, we could manage it. I’ve always wanted a granddaughter!”

I loved Bronze and Sunflowers' grandmother (Nainai). In fact, there wasn't a single character I disliked in the book. The main characters were well developed, had their ups and downs and were so relatable! Sunflower was sweet and innocent in the way only small children can be, and I wasn't annoyed with how nice she was
Christie Angleton
The language is so gentle and lyrical. I wandered slowly through this starchy text. The translation is absolutely gorgeous. The lush descriptions of animals, nature, and deep emotions reminded me of EB White. Would make for a lovely, slow read aloud.
This is a very gentle slow moving story that takes place in China around 1960-70. Sunflower and her father move across the river from the city to a cadre school in the country. When the father dies a family must come forward to take care of Sunflower. Bronze and his family, the poorest in the village want Sunflower to be their daughter. How they cope, surviving various difficulties, and the love and sacrifice they have for each other is beautiful and inspiring.
The book is beautifully written and
Edward Sullivan
A beautiful, moving portrait of the relationship between orphaned Sunflower and mute Bronze, and their constantly struggling close-knit family, the poorest in their rural Chinese village. Translated from Mandarin, originally published in China.
Lily Wallaker
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully sad! A definite re-read for the future. 😊
Mary Lee
I'm glad I've had the experience of the cadence and flow of a Chinese children's book. I truly feel like I've visited a foreign country. So much weeping! And the ending was so sudden and unexpected! ...more
Jaina Rose
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blogged
This review is also available on my blog, Read Till Dawn.

I honestly have no idea how to review Bronze and Sunflower.

I don't know what it is about the book, but I just can't wrap my head around it. I'm actually a little puzzled by the ending, which is still not entirely clear to me even after I've read it a few times. I think that's a translation trouble–in fact, I think a lot of my confusion comes either from translation ambiguousness or cultural differences. Since I know nothing about the
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Warning: this is a weeping book. But it's very much worth it. Beautifully written and deeply touching. The two main characters are a pair of best friends living in rural China during the Cultural Revolution, who eventually become siblings when one of them is adopted by the other's family. The story is very episodic, with a very thin through line - almost more like a series of short stories. But it gives a gorgeous picture of a world that most children, especially in the US, know very little abou ...more
Holly Thompson
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved this novel set in a rural Chinese village by Hans Christian Andersen Award winner Cao Wenxuan and translated by Helen Wang. Hoping that many more of his titles will now be translated into English!
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A tale of the Cultural Revolution from a child's perspective. Emphasizes kindness and understanding in the face of hardship. Demonstrates love and commitment to family. Resilience lies in a balance of defiance and acceptance. Beautifully translated. ...more
The book has important messages but is quite naive in style.
Alex  Baugh
Bronze and Sunflower is set in communist China during Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). The goal of the cultural Revolution was to eliminate traditional Chinese life and thought, to replace it with communist ideology and get rid of any opponents. Artists and other intellectual were sent to remote Cadre Schools, where they did heavy manual labor during the day, and attended political re-education meetings at night.

Sunflower, 7, and her father have been living in the country, in a Cad
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Throughout the 400 pages, words paint pictures of little wooden boats, beautiful sunflower fields, paper lanterns, and so much more. You will meet Bronze, an only child who is mute, along with his mother and father and grandmother. Next, you will be introduced to good little Sunflower who has lost her father in a storm and soon is adopted by Bronze's family who is so poor but extremely kind. This lovely story is sure to warm your heart as you see a special close-knit family endure hardships with ...more
Michelle Glatt
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book about a young girl in China who is adopted by a poor village family. I didn't know until reading the author's note that it was set during the Cultural Revolution (which is my fault for a hole in my education/study), and I suspect that many young people reading it will not either. However, the story is first and foremost about love, sacrifice, and endurance in the worst of times. About staying together and supporting each other no matter the struggles life sends you. In ...more
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm enjoying reading books in translation. This book expanded my horizons by telling the story of Bronze and Sunflower during the cultural revolution in China. On the surface it is a happy, childhood story. If you peel back one layer, you find a darker world of enforced labor, hunger, and childhood beatings.

I didn't care for the ending. It felt inevitable but it lost some of it's wonder for me.
Quinn F
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book deserves a newbery honor. This book has great characters that you love and the author really dives into setting and there is a interesting twist at the end. The only problem is that there is no plot development at all.
Dec 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
VERY lovely and charming snapshot of life in a little Chinese village. I'm somewhat confused by the end, but I'm just going to assume is an issue with the translation and leave it at that. ...more
Zoe Peszek
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow, wow, wow! There are so many positive messages in this book! I absolutely loved it! We need more heartwarming stories like this one. I love the unexpected relationship between Bronze and Sunflower. A seemingly impossible relationship develops into something so endearing. It is incredible how a poor family was still selfless enough to take in another child when they were struggling to make ends meet for themselves. There are no barriers when it comes to friendship. Even the lack of words coul ...more
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Two more pieces in English by this author 1 9 Oct 03, 2015 11:57AM  

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