STARRED REVIEW
March 13, 2017

Saved by friendship

By Cao Wenxuan, translated by Helen Wang
Review by

Cao Wenxuan, bestselling Chinese author and 2016 recipient of the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award, presents a timeless, emotional tale of loss, heartache and the ultimate power of friendship and connection to overcome any hardship.

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Cao Wenxuan, bestselling Chinese author and 2016 recipient of the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award, presents a timeless, emotional tale of loss, heartache and the ultimate power of friendship and connection to overcome any hardship.

Sunflower is a city girl with a country girl’s name, and her arrival with her father at the rural Cadre School that sits across the river from the tight-knit village of Damaidi certainly causes a stir. While her father spends his days at the school and his nights in meetings, Sunflower explores the countryside in solitude. With no other children on her side of the river with whom to share her daily adventures, she spends her time observing the villagers and wondering about their ways of life. But when tragedy strikes, Sunflower finds herself living among the villagers, taken in by the poorest family. It is here that she meets Bronze. Rendered mute by the trauma of his own tragic experience, Bronze nonetheless connects with Sunflower through a mutual understanding all their own, and the two become inseparable, existing within the realm of simple understanding that only pure, beautiful childhood friendships can offer.

Told in spare yet glimmering prose, this story is a testament to all that love and loyalty are able to overcome, be it cultural divisions, unthinkable losses or the crushing weight of loneliness. These two children serve as an example for kids and adults alike of the power of genuine love and loyalty to traverse boundaries and reach across divides, both those that are created by society and those that are self-imposed. In a time when our divisions seem to be drawn more forcefully than ever, Bronze and Sunflower’s unlikely bond serves as a beacon of hope.

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Bronze and Sunflower

Bronze and Sunflower

By Cao Wenxuan
Candlewick
ISBN 9780763688165

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