Wednesday, October 09, 2019

I Can Make This Promise

Day, Christine. I Can Make This Promise
October 1st 2019 by HarperCollins
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Edie lives near Seattle, Washington, and has two good friends, Serenity and Amelia. They are working on an animation project for a local contest. After seeing a lost dog at a festival she attended with her parents, Edie wants to make him the center of the story, but Amelia thinks that is babyish. Amelia thinks a lot of things are babyish, but when the girls are searching Edie's attic for ice pop molds, they come across some photographs and letters from the early 1970s, and that intrigues all of them. Edie's mother is Native American, but because she was adopted by a white couple as a baby, she doesn't know her tribal affiliation or anything about her cultural heritage. The photograph of  the young woman, Edith, looks very much like Edie, and she starts to read the letters and do some research. She feels out her parents by asking them leading questions that they fail to pick up on, so Edie is a bit perturbed that they are keeping secrets from her. Serenity goes away for a bit, and Amelia becomes friends with a girl who has always given Edie a hard time, so Edie struggles with the animation project as well as finding out the truth about her past.
Strengths: I always appreciate books that teach me something; I had no idea that Native American children were taken away from their parents in the 1970s and before. The Indian Child Welfare Act ( was enacted in 1978, and yet I knew nothing about it. The family mystery is worked into the rest of Edie's life well, and certainly friend drama is a huge part of the middle grade experience. My favorite part was when the parents finally told Edie about her heritage and finally gave her all of the details.
Weaknesses: This was rather slow and introspective, and there were a couple of weighted references about at-home mothers that seemed odd.
What I really think: There are very few books about Native Americans that reflect experiences accurately, so this is a welcome #ownvoices addition, although the characters seemed more like elementary students rather than middle school ones.

Been thinking a lot about #30wears. Since I've had this skirt since 2002,  and the sweater since about 2005, I feel good about them.

6th grade classes in the library all day today, working on life size character portraits, so needed something I can crawl around on the floor in if necessary.

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate your review and agree this kind of book is badly needed. Generally I prefer faster books, but I think I'll pick this one up anyway. Many thanks for the recommendation, and happy belated MMGM!