Call me sunflower by Miriam Spitzer Franklin. Children’s fiction.
Sunny Beringer hates her first name—her real first name—Sunflower. And she hates that her mom has suddenly left behind her dad, Scott, and uprooted their family miles away from New Jersey to North Carolina just so she can pursue some fancy degree. Sunny has to live with a grandmother she barely knows, and she’s had to leave her beloved cat and all her friends behind. And no one else seems to think anything is wrong.
So she creates “Sunny Beringer’s Totally Awesome Plan for Romance”—a list of sure-fire ways to make her mom and Scott fall madly in love again, including:
Send mom flowers from a “secret admirer” to make Scott jealous and make him regret letting them move so far away.
Make a playlist of Scott’s favorite love songs—the mushier the better—and make sure it’s always playing in the car.
Ask them about the good old days when they first fell in love.
But while working on a photo album guaranteed to make Mom change her mind and rush them right back home, Sunny discovers a photo—one that changes everything.
Sunny’s family, the people she thought she could trust most in the world, have been keeping an enormous secret from her. And she’ll have to reconcile her family’s past and present, or she’ll lose everything about their future.
Call me Sunflower is narrated by 11 year old Sunflower, and the writing perfectly captures her naivety in the way she believes she can fix her problems, it’s a book about being honest, facing up to things, even if it means not taking the easy way.
It’s about thinking about the way you treat people, and there’s a lesson in there about how even if things change you can still be okay.
Sunflower has wants her mum and dad to get back together but she discovers they haven’t been honest about their relationship,
She’s has different views to her grandmother, which land her in a heap of trouble, she is finding it hard to make friends in her new school, and she doesn’t know what to do about it.
Something I feel I need to point out is that there is a vegan/animal rights storyline which as a vegan I wholeheartedly approve of, (I hadn’t realised this, and when I read it I’ll admit to doing a little air punch) but I can imagine that some parents may not approve of it. Although it’s definitely not done in a shoving veganism down your throat way.
More in a way that it may make young readers think about something they may not have known much about.
I think this book is suitable for 10+ readers. And because it has strong themes of honesty, love and friendship throughout I’m giving it four and a half stars out of five.
I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley but as always my review is honest and all thoughts and opinions are my own.