for I Can Make This Promise
by Christine Day
Twelve-year-old Edie and her friends, Serenity and Amelia, are working on a film project when they stumble upon a box in Edie’s attic filled with photos, letters, and diaries belonging to a Native woman named Edith. Edie knows that she herself is Native, but her mother, who was adopted by a white family at birth, has always claimed ignorance of any details of her heritage. Edie, suspecting that her mother is keeping secrets, reads through the materials on her own. She learns that Edith—who looks remarkably like Edie—was an aspiring actress who left home for Hollywood only to face discrimination there as a Native woman. Expecting a child, she returned home. When Edie presses her parents, they admit that Edith is Edie’s grandmother. Edie’s mother was taken from Edith shortly after her birth. By the time the Indian Child Welfare Act was enacted in 1978, it was too late; Edie’s mother had been adopted, and Edith never saw her daughter again. This story of a contemporary Suquamish/ Duwamish girl seeking information about her cultural heritage sheds much- needed light on the generational trauma of forced removal of Native children from their families. (Ages 8–12)
CCBC Choices 2020. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2020. Used with permission.
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?
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.