Call Me Floy
DescriptionIn this coming-of-age novel, a headstrong girl persists against expectations, following her dream in nineteenth century Yosemite.
Florence "Floy" Hutchings is the daughter of a famous father, and while the extra attention that brings is not unwelcome, all she really wants is to be herself. However, in 1876 being clever, confident, and bold is not expected of girls on the cusp of turning twelve. Stuck in a stuffy classroom in crowded San Francisco, Floy longs to return to the majestic mountain valley where she was born and where she has always felt free: Yosemite!
Upon returning to her beloved valley, Floy finds that it is changing in confusing ways: the intimate paradise she once knew is opening to more visitors and to troubling attitudes about her indigenous friends and about what girls should and should not do. Yet, against this backdrop of change, Floy pursues her dream of climbing the indomitable Half Dome.
Steeped in the rich atmosphere of old Yosemite and based on real people and true events, Call Me Floy is about a girl who follows her dream up the steepest path imaginable.
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Foreword Reviews, May/June 2020: "Enlivened by rich similes, the book's Yosemite sweeps across the page. . . Restless, energetic Floy stands at the center of massive change--for herself, for the country, for Yosemite, for the Native Americans, and for the rights of women. Those vital forces come together in Joanna Cooke's novel, driving Floy on her epic, complex coming-of-age adventure."
Booklist, May 2020: "Floy was a real person, and this fictionalized account of her history also sensitively conveys how Indigenous peoples' lives were changing as more settlers and tourists moved into Yosemite. Like-minded adventurers will root for mischievous, strong-willed, nature-loving Floy, learn Yosemite's history, and acquire some survival tips, too."
"I loved Floy's voice and how all the characters came together. Sally Ann was beautiful. I hearted Radish a lot. Congratulations! I can't wait to buy this for my library and give it to kids who are going to love it!" --Melissa Snider, librarian, Munger Mountain Elementary School
"Call Me Floy held me captive between its pages as soon as I read the line, 'Half Dome is an altar to the stars and heavens above, and I must find a way to climb it, despite everything. If I don't reach the top, something might always be missing inside me.' There is a great promise made in those words--a promise of beautiful, vivid language, and of a young character headed for a great adventure. Both kids and adults will recognize that feeling, that passion for something seemingly unattainable that we absolutely must have or achieve. There are so many moments in this story that moved me to tears, that made me laugh out loud, and that made me root for this heroine from page one until the end. Floy is a girl who feels very out of place and is struggling to find her way a time when girls were expected to ride sidesaddle in a dress and take up sewing, rather than galloping a horse through the night in pants and mountain climbing. These challenges are relevant to kids today and I am adding this to the list of Must-Reads for my parent-child bookclub. I recommend this book for all ages. Well done!" --Nanci Turner Steveson, award-winning author of Lizzie Flying Solo