Review by Suze
Sunflower doesn't like her name very much and prefers to be called Sunny. Sunny and her sister Autumn used to live in New Jersey, but as their mother wanted to go back to university they left Scott, their dad, behind and moved in with their grandmother in North Carolina. Sunny misses her father and her friends. She doesn't know much about her grandmother, but as she sells fur Sunny isn't interested in finding out more, because she thinks it's cruel. Sunny has a plan to make her mother and Scott fall in love again, so they can go back to the life she used to love. Will she succeed or are things not exactly as she was let to believe and what will Sunny do when she finds out the truth about her family?
Call Me Sunflower is a beautiful emotional story. Sunny doesn't like living with her grandmother and going to a new school is daunting. She isn't sure how to make friends when she doesn't want to stay, she doesn't know how to have fun without her best friend and father and she misses her old life. My heart ached for her when I read her plans to get her old life back. Sunny has problems finding her place at school and has the tough decision to make if she wants to hang out with the popular crowd or the kids she really likes. Everything is different and she isn't coping too well. When Sunny finds out that things she should have known have been kept from her she's even more confused. She's on a journey to find herself again after everything she's been through and I admired her for trying to make the best of every situation and for fighting for what she believes in.
Miriam Spitzer Franklin has a wonderful warm writing style. She vividly describes everything Sunny is feeling, both the good and the bad. I could easily picture Sunny's plans, her grief and her hope. Change is always difficult, especially without understanding every aspect of it, which is something Miriam Spitzer Franklin writes about in a fantastic empathic way. I loved Call Me Sunflower, it's a stunning moving story about a special girl and it has plenty of different layers. I highly recommend this brilliant book to both children and adults.
If you love beautiful middle grade stories you should definitely read Call Me Sunflower.