I Can Make This Promise

I Can Make This Promise

Book - 2019
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"When twelve-year-old Edie finds letters and photographs in her attic that change everything she thought she knew about her Native American mother's adoption, she realizes she has a lot to learn about her family's history and her own identity"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HaperCollins Publishers, [2019]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780062871992
Branch Call Number: FICTION DAY
Characteristics: 264 pages, 2 unnumbered pages ; 22 cm


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May 18, 2020

Ever since kindergarten, when teachers and others started asking her where she was from, Edie felt different. They wanted to know more about her Native American roots. She never had the answers for them because she did not know herself until a discovery in her attic. Looking for popsicle molds in the attic, Edie and her friends discover an old photograph picturing a modeling head shot of a woman who looks just like Edie. Soon after, they discover an entire box full of letters and postcards written by this woman also called Edie. Thus, begins Edie’s quest to find out who this woman is and what’s Edie’s connection to her. At the same time, Edie and her friends are making a movie together for a local youth film contest. Tensions arise between Edie and her longtime friend. They seem to be going in direct directions not just with the movie project, but with friendships as well. On top of this, Edit is struggling to get answers from her parents about her mom's family.

I love Edie’s journey of self-discovery in this book. When she learns about her Native American ancestry, she finds a new understanding of herself, a more completeness of who she is. When people ask her questions about her Native American ancestry, she no longer has to experience an emptiness. Not only does she discover who her relatives were, but the social injustices they faced as Native Americans including racial prejudices in Hollywood film-making and the separation of Native American children from their mothers, to name a few. Along with this backdrop of discovering her roots, Edie is also discovering the qualities she values in friendships. Artistic, sensitive, inquisitive, and empathetic—the depth of Edie’s character captures your emotions through every page.

Tigard_HollyCP Feb 07, 2020

The first time twelve-year-old Edie realized she was different was when she met her kindergarten teacher who asked, “But where are you ORIGINALLY from?” Raised by her white dad and Native American mom who was adopted by a white family, she knows nothing about her Native background. While working on a summer movie project for a local competition, she and her two best friends make a discovery that leads to the realization that her parents have not been honest with her about her heritage. On top of this betrayal by her parents, she sees signs that her friendship may not be as strong as it once was. The dialog is a little awkward and a couple of chapters in which a character tells a story didn’t feel completely authentic to me (the character gives long quotes of what was said in conversations many years ago), but overall it is a great #ownvoices story about a girl connecting to her roots, growing as an artist, and accepting changes that happen as she comes of age.

This was an excellent debut novel from Christine Day about friendship, family and the importance of learning your family roots. Day is able to craft a story that is both heartbreaking and heartwarming while bringing to light important and overlooked subject matter; specifically the treatment of Aboriginal people and the ramifications of the pain caused years later.

I can't wait to see what Christine writes next!

Oct 23, 2019

This book is fantastic. I loved Edee and my heart broke for her, her mother and grandmother. This book is necessary. No one talks about native children being adopted by white families and we need to.


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WVMLlibrarianShannon Jan 23, 2020

WVMLlibrarianShannon thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over


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