I Can Make This Promise
I Can Make This Promise
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Annotation: 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.
Catalog Number: #209831
Format: Perma-Bound from Publisher's Hardcover
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 264 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-287199-4 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-7591-7
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-287199-2 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-7591-5
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2019009519
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
It's summertime in Seattle for 12-year-old Edie, and between animating a short film with her best friends and adjusting to new braces, she is keeping busy. Nothing could have prepared her for a discovery in her parents' attic: a box full of photographs and letters belonging to a woman named Edith Graham, someone whose likeness is uncannily similar to Edie's. Edie always knew her mother was both Native American and adopted, but who was Edith Graham? As we follow Edie in unraveling this mystery, Day (herself having ties to the Upper Skagit tribe) offers readers a rich story that is both powerfully genuine in its conflicts and delightfully imaginative in its resolutions. The narrative explores issues relevant to tween readers, such as maneuvering through a friendship that is changing, coping with painful braces, and confronting family secrets. If that weren't enough, this debut also offers compelling historical knowledge about the Pacific Northwest Native American tribes, the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, and what it means to find one's heritage.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-7 -In this debut novel, a young girl discovers her grandmother's Hollywood aspirations and her mother's Suquamish and Duwamish ancestry. Edie knows that her white Dad is American and that her Native American mom was adopted into a white family, but that's almost all she knows of her heritage. Then, a casual excursion to the attic unearths pictures of Edith, a stranger who resembles Edie, and hard truths her family has kept hidden for years start to emerge. Day (tribally enrolled, Upper Skagit) captures the angst, embarrassment, and uncertainty of many Indigenous people whose parents or grandparents were separated from their communities by adoption or residential school placement. Day details Indigenous culture with skill and nuance and crafts complex relationships between multidimensional characters. The depiction of the painful history of Native peoples who were separated from their families and taken from their ancestral homeland is straightforward and honest. The use of text messages between Edie and her close friends moves the story along and gives the book an intimate feel. VERDICT Readers will be drawn into Edie's emotions as she copes with overprotective parents and honesty in relationships. Keep an eye out for Day, as her writing is powerful. Highly recommended.-Naomi Caldwell, Alabama State University, Montgomery
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (9/1/19)
School Library Journal (10/1/19)
Word Count: 42,472
Reading Level: 4.4
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.4 / points: 6.0 / quiz: 505943 / grade: Middle Grades
Lexile: HL610L
Guided Reading Level: N

In her debut middle grade novel--inspired by her family's history--Christine Day tells the story of a girl who uncovers her family's secrets--and finds her own Native American identity. 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?

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