I CAN MAKE THIS PROMISE, by Christine Day , Harper, Oct. 1, 2019, Hardcover, $16.99 (ages 8-12)
Christine Day’s I Can Make This Promise is a heartfelt novel that follows a girl as she unravels her family’s past.
All her life, Edie has known that her mom was adopted by a white couple. So, no matter how curious she might be about her Native American heritage, Edie is sure her family doesn’t have any answers.
Until the day when she and her friends discover a box hidden in the attic—a box full of letters signed “Love, Edith,” and photos of a woman who looks just like her.
Suddenly, Edie has a flurry of new questions about this woman who shares her name. Could she belong to the Native family that Edie never knew about? But if her mom and dad have kept this secret from her all her life, how can she trust them to tell her the truth now? — Synopsis provided by Harper
I Can Make This Promise was inspired by Christine Day’s own life and family history, among other sources.
I can’t imagine what it’s like to not know where your family comes from. I live in a place where family history is at the forefront. The largest genealogical library in the world is about a 20-minute drive from my house. Knowing what my ancestors did and did not accomplish makes me think to the future both near and far.
In I Can Make This Promise Edie feels like a piece of herself is missing. Her attic discovery changes everything. Edie’s longing is palpable and her frustration understandable. She’s a beautiful character and so is her journey.
I Can Make This Promise offers a number of surprises (that I won’t give away here) that delve into aspects of American history that aren’t spoken about often enough but should be. As a mother, my heart ached, and I can only imagine how a child would feel when putting themselves into that situation.
Beyond Native American themes, Day’s book elegantly celebrates family and friendship. And like it’s cover, it is full of hope. This is a novel that all middle graders and their parents should read.
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