I CAN MAKE THIS PROMISE by Christine Day
Kirkus Star

I CAN MAKE THIS PROMISE

Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A Suquamish/Duwamish girl uncovers her tragic family history in this contemporary tale of adoption.

Edie’s idyllic life in a Seattle neighborhood is upended when she realizes her parents have been telling lies. Biracial 12-year-old Edie has always known her mother was Native American but adopted into a white family. Due to this, her mother has claimed to be ignorant about her birth family and tribe. (Edie’s father is white.) While the ambiguities of Edie’s family history make her uncomfortable, she accepts the story until the day she searches the attic while working on a film project with her two best friends. They discover a box there with photos of a woman who looks exactly like Edie. Opening letters in the box, the friends realize the woman shares Edie’s name. Even as preteen tensions begin to pull her friend group apart, young Edie struggles as she seeks to discover the truth about her past without asking her parents directly. Preteen anxiety gives way to daunting maturity as she learns about the misrepresentation of Native Americans in film, the activism of the American Indian Movement, and the reason her parents decided to keep her family connections a secret for so long. The novel is enlightening and a must-read for anyone interested in issues surrounding identity and adoption.

Debut author Day (Upper Skagit) handles family separation in Native America with insight and grace. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-06-287199-2
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2019