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I Can Make This Promise
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
29 posts | 20 read | 16 to read
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review
Kenyazero
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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Pickpick

This book tackles a painful era of Native American/US history & doesn't shy away from the horrors of the past (the US government taking infants from Native American families via social services) without being too painful for a middle grade audience. It also explores friendship, & navigating unhealthy friendship. Overall, the ending felt really earned and uplifting without being reductive of the serious history.

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Butterfinger
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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Pickpick

I'm having trouble sifting through my emotions. Anger, pride, hopelessness, and hope are all in combat. Anger at the injustice of the American government. What reparations can you offer? Pride in my heritage. My words are inadequate. Goodness, this is a great book.

#MGBuddyRead @megnews I love the books you choose.

megnews @Butterfinger Aw thanks! 2mo
43 likes1 comment
review
BarbaraJean
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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Pickpick

This was a lovely #MGBuddyRead pick. 12-year-old Edie begins to explore her past when she finds a box of letters & photos in her attic and realizes there may be more to discover about her heritage than she knew. I liked the portrayal of the parents & Edie‘s struggle to ask for answers. There was a friendship thread that needed more resolution, but overall I was really impressed by how the author handled the difficult realities of Native adoption.

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megnews
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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Thanks for joining #MGBuddyRead! Anything else you‘d like to discuss?

BarbaraJean I loved this book! But I kind of wanted more closure at the end with the Amelia storyline. Their friendship was an important part of the story and I felt like that thread didn‘t get tied up at the end. I guess it was realistic to leave things with the split over the film, but I wanted more resolution. (I kinda wanted to see Edie & Serenity win the film festival and see Libby & Amelia lose…but I realize that was not Edie‘s focus or motivation!) 2mo
megnews @BarbaraJean 😂 I sort of felt the same. I wanted to see it amazing Edie‘s way. But as you said, it was not like Edie to be like that. Pretty classy kid. 2mo
sblbooks Great book, Thank you for hosting! 2mo
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megnews @sblbooks glad you enjoyed it! 2mo
Roary47 I was trying to figure out why they kept this part of Edie‘s life a secret. I get why they wouldn‘t want to tell her about her mom being stolen from her grandma, but why not mention the house or her great uncle? Was there a reason to keep it a secret? Or is it just to help the plot of the story? I liked the story it just felt like Edie‘s grandma was someone to be ashamed of the entire time. Maybe I just read into it wrong. 🤷‍♀️ (edited) 2mo
megnews @Roary47 after I read your review I meant to include a question about this & forgot. My take, which includes reading the repetitive theme of residential schools & foster care in indigenous stories, is that it is something with a lot of shame. It can often be due to or lead to alcoholism, poverty etc so even for that caseworker to see Edith as unworthy of being a parent was shameful & devastating. Therefore not something they wanted to talk about. 2mo
megnews I think it was ridiculous that the caseworker and state could do that. But that‘s why the Indian child welfare act was necessary. 2mo
TheBookHippie @megnews we‘ve had respite foster kids that were Indian and they had totally different governing. Although I think personally they should have been at the reservation and as adults, that‘s were they are today. They were given a huge disservice being taken away from their culture. Awful. 2mo
megnews @TheBookHippie I agree. I‘m glad they made their ways home again. 2mo
Butterfinger @Roary47 I think it just hurt her mom so much, she was bottling it up and didn't want to talk about it. She just wasn't ready to talk. 2mo
Chrissyreadit @BarbaraJean me too! I would have been ok with a little more. @Roary47 that‘s how I felt and it really bothered me through the book- I had a hard time liking her parents because of it. @Butterfinger you have a generous and compassionate view and it‘s something I always need reminders to have. I just get angry too quickly. 2mo
megnews @Chrissyreadit I‘m quick to anger to. Ugh. I agree about @butterfinger! 2mo
25 likes12 comments
blurb
megnews
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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BarbaraJean To me, the title represents Edie‘s desire to honor and remember both her grandmother and her heritage. I think the author chose it to highlight that part of the story, but also to communicate the idea that we can acknowledge sadness over what was lost, but also move forward in hope. 2mo
Kenyazero @BarbaraJean I feel like that's a pretty good interpretation for the title 🤔 2mo
sblbooks @BarbaraJean 👏Well said 2mo
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megnews @BarbaraJean I love that explanation. I did feel sad that it was too late for Edie to meet her grandmother or even her great uncle. At least she has the box of memories as well as a place to go to to keep her promise to remember. 2mo
TheBookHippie To carry on their stories, is the promise I think. 2mo
Butterfinger Perfect @BarbaraJean did anyone else notice the foreshadowing? I may have just made it up in my head. While they were at the Native festival for the Fourth of July, Edie noticed an old woman with a sign. Something like "Bring Our Girls Home" I thought that was a very clever way to introduce readers to the shock of what happened to Edith and Edie's mom. 2mo
megnews @Butterfinger I didn‘t! Great point. 2mo
Chrissyreadit @Butterfinger great catch! @BarbaraJean yes! I like and agree with your interpretation! 2mo
16 likes8 comments
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megnews
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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BarbaraJean So much of the story is about finding out where you‘re from—I liked the way the narrative was framed by that second question of where you‘re going, kind of moving from coming-of-age into thinking about how to take that knowledge into the future. 2mo
sblbooks At the beginning of the story Edie didn't know much at all about her mother's side of the family. Through the novel she was able to learn about the history of her tribe and about her grandmother and mom's history now she will be able to connect more with her native community. She will also remember and honor her grandmother/ namesake. 2mo
Roary47 I think that we have all went through this period of self discovery. There is a time where we want to understand where we are from. Who before us made a difference, what can we learn from their mistakes. After that discovery, who are we going to develop ourselves to be? When you have a rich culture on top of it like Edie you can really feel that connection to those who came before you. 2mo
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TheBookHippie I liked this very much. It gives a sense of belonging -but also a responsibility to carry it on -all you‘ve learned. 2mo
Butterfinger I thought that it was nice that Edie is an artist like her grandmother. Different media, but there is that connection. 2mo
megnews @Butterfinger yes, I love this connection. My great grandfather was a baker in Charleston WV. He died long before my younger cousin came along but that cousin became a dessert chef. I find that connection so interesting. 2mo
Chrissyreadit - it really bothered me that her parents did not integrate this knowledge and heritage in her awareness and understanding. That the concept of identity can be hidden and erased only supports the attempts to do exactly that. I wish this had been a more exploratory story of growing into her culture from the beginning and not as much of initial discovery @Butterfinger @sblbooks @TheBookHippie @IndoorDame @BarbaraJean @Roary47 @megnews 2mo
IndoorDame @Chrissyreadit I felt that too. I wonder about the reason behind making her this sheltered suburban kid just beginning her journey towards awareness of her heritage. Is that actually a common scenario? Was it to underscore the idea of native children being forcibly removed from their parents and placed in white foster homes? Was it so non native children could relate better to the story as they discovered the good and the bad alongside Edie?… 2mo
TheBookHippie @Chrissyreadit My great grandparents and grandparents did it with Judaism I imagine initially it‘s all fear. 2mo
megnews Good point @TheBookHippie @Chrissyreadit @IndoorDame could it also be attempts at assimilation? Internalized racism? Deny the parts of self that they feel is what causes others to judge them? You‘re right that development of this part of the story kind of leaves the options wide open. 2mo
IndoorDame @megnews I think you‘re spot on. Those things are exactly what I felt from the mom. Like in the scene at the movie theater, not only does Edie not already know that the movie is offensive, but her mom won‘t explain it to her in public in front of outsiders and risk causing a scene or being overheard. 2mo
Chrissyreadit @megnews @IndoorDame I agree- but also think there is more of a movement now to reclaim and not be ashamed- I guess in my mind it‘s so contemporary I want to see activism. But that is not everyone‘s truth and perhaps the story reflects that some people are still held back by secrets. 2mo
megnews @Chrissyreadit this is a great description. 2mo
15 likes13 comments
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megnews
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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BarbaraJean I loved how she finally began to draw people by the end of the book. It was such a sweet symbol of inclusion, of letting people in, and a way for Edie to integrate new understandings of herself. She seemed to draw inspiration from the natural world, and I think that deepens when she‘s encouraged to include people in her landscapes. I think her art will be influenced by her Native identity more in the future, as she explores that part of herself. 2mo
IndoorDame Her art seems to be a real reflection of her. At the end of the book as she became more self aware and assertive she was finally willing to risk drawing people even though she wasn‘t “good” at that. I agree with @BarbaraJean that her art will be influenced by her Native identity as she learns more about it and it becomes a stronger part of her identity. 2mo
megnews @BarbaraJean @IndoorDame I agree with you both again. I loved how Edie‘s mom supported her art. And I loved when she was drawing at the cabin near the end and realized it was the other side of the lake. It was familiar yet different and like two sides of a coin as Edie realizes she has more than one side as well. I love her connection with nature through her art. 2mo
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Roary47 I‘m not sure what more I could add. I agree with all of you that it reflected her life and growth. 2mo
TheBookHippie I agree with everyone and I do think her art with help her with her identity and express all her emotions surrounding it. 2mo
Butterfinger Megan, your description was beautiful. I laughed out loud when her father said she wasn't that good at landscapes when she started either. 2mo
15 likes7 comments
blurb
megnews
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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BarbaraJean Ugh, I couldn‘t stand Amelia! I think she ended up being significant in helping Edie grow into being more herself. Unfortunately Amelia did that in a negative way! I loved Serenity & how perceptive she was about Edie‘s feelings. Amelia was bossy & selfish about the Edith box—Serenity saw how personal & important it was to Edie. Libby felt like the typical mean girl & Roger was a nice inclusion as a potential friend connecting Edie to her heritage. 2mo
megnews @BarbaraJean I agree on all points. I‘m glad Edie still has Serenity and it seems she will also have Roger who will be a great connection to her heritage as you said. 2mo
sblbooks @BarbaraJean I totally agree. Amelia and Libby are just awful. Especially Amelia, who was supposed to be her friend, she just wanted to use Edith's story for her own benefit and didn't care about anyone else's feelings. I'm glad Edie still had Serenity she seemed like a true friend. I'm glad she met Rodger, someone who shares her heritage. 2mo
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TheBookHippie @BarbaraJean that is summed up exactly right. I like Serenity as well. I also felt Rodger is an important person to have. 2mo
Butterfinger I'm glad the author includes this. Not only do your appearances change during the mg years, but your friends change. It is so confusing and it hurts. Especially when your best friend chooses a bully over you. Chaya goes to middle school next year and I dread it. She has been listening with me which is why I am late. 2mo
megnews @Butterfinger how did she like it? 2mo
Chrissyreadit @Butterfinger @sblbooks @megnews @BarbaraJean @TheBookHippie @megnews I agree with what everyone has said. I also like how the author supports friends as part of identity formation, where learning about who you are and how you are different is so healthy and normal. Tammy I agree middle school is so hard- but also so much growth - I 2mo
13 likes7 comments
blurb
megnews
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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Time for #MGBuddyRead! Join when you can.

BarbaraJean There are so many layers to the meaning of a name, depending on why it was given—whether you‘re named after someone, or your parents liked the meaning or just liked the name itself. Family connections in a name feel like they carry a lot of weight—there‘s a bit of a responsibility to be like your namesake, to live up to their heritage. And names are so tied up in identity—nicknames, too! I hate being called Barb because it‘s never felt like ME. 2mo
IndoorDame Names have a lot of power. They can tag you as being part of a certain community whether or not you actually are… I‘m a white woman with a middle eastern name, and as soon as I left NYC and moved to smaller places I started getting those pointed “where are you from?” questions… If nothing else it‘s given me a small bit of insight into what it‘s like for POC to live near me. 2mo
sblbooks Names can tell you where someone's from, or what religion they are, such as biblical names. Like @BarbaraJean said if you're named after someone they have more mmeaning and a feeling of responsibility to live up to a certain standard. 2mo
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megnews I agree that names are powerful @barbarajean and @IndoorDame I gave my children names that weren‘t on the popular lists because I wanted them to be different. The meaning of their names was also really important to me. I think it you‘re named after someone, as Edie is, it‘s natural to want to know about that person. 2mo
Roary47 @megnews @BarbaraJean @IndoorDame @sblbooks I agree names have history, power, and can show you a lot about a person. I also named my kids unique names and researched their names meaning to benefit their futures “Happiness/Good Fortune” and “Protected by God”(2020 Baby). My youngest also has a female version of our late fathers that we miss dearly. 2mo
TheBookHippie It‘s interesting -we just had this talk about last names. I use my birth name and people refuse to use it even though it‘s my legal name. The abusive nature of that is just sick. Names are hugely important I make this my number one with students -how to say it is extremely important. 2mo
Butterfinger @BarbaraJean @TheBookHippie @IndoorDame @Roary47 @sblbooks forgive my tardiness. I agree with all that was said. I have always had a fascination with names. I wanted my first born to be named Shenandoah (my favorite movie), my husband wouldn't budge and I refused his choice Gwendolyn (goblin from Piers Anthony book). He finally let me have Abigail because it meant "My Father's Delight" and I fell in love with Chaya (it just looks like art) and I could imagine Jesus saying it. We are not Hebrew, but all four of us, except for Chaya, have names derived from the language 2mo
Butterfinger So I agree that names portray our belief systems and our heritage. 2mo
megnews @Butterfinger I love both your girls‘ names. Abigail was on my short list for both my girls too. 2mo
Chrissyreadit @Butterfinger I have thought Chaya was a Hebrew name every time I read it- it is beautiful. 2mo
Chrissyreadit I love this question and agree names are meaningful. I am the 9th generation named Christina but have such a strong disconnect with my mothers family I refused to name my daughter Christina- and my husband was very bothered by this. Instead we named her Brynne and her a middle name connected to two great grandparents- Rose and Etta a nod to his need for family connection. @BarbaraJean @TheBookHippie @Butterfinger @sblbooks @IndoorDame @roary47 2mo
Chrissyreadit We picked my sons name based on a name I never heard as a teacher- Owen- and Atticus because my husband and I love To Kill A Mockingbird. I do regret not naming him Atticus Owen. Another thought reading this is how powerful that we all have name stories- it is a strong indicator for all of the power and meaning we give names. @Butterfinger @TheBookHippie @sblbooks @Roary47 @IndoorDame @BarbaraJean @megnews 2mo
megnews @Chrissyreadit @Butterfinger I think it is a Hebrew name just not in the Bible. I love it too. Beautiful! As a family historian, I can understand how your husband was bothered by that but understand your reasoning too. 2mo
IndoorDame @megnews @Chrissyreadit @Butterfinger Chaya comes from the Hebrew root word Chay which means life. It‘s a lovely name. 2mo
Butterfinger @IndoorDame yes. And she matches her name very, very well. 😆 2mo
Butterfinger I realized I mislead you @megnews @Chrissyreadit @IndoorDame when I said all, but Chaya was derived from Hebrew, I meant hers was the only one that WAS TRULY HEBREW, not a derivative. Like Jeremy, Tammy, and Abigail. Does that make more sense? Abigail is Biblical, but not the true Hebrew name. I named her Life because I had just suffered a miscarriage and it was what I needed. When Chaya was born, she had to go to a pediatric cardiologist, whose name was Chaya and she had emigrated from Tel Aviv. Although, we pronounce it with a k sound, not the nasal sound it should be. 2mo
IndoorDame @Butterfinger oh, yes, that does make more sense. That‘s a very powerful story behind her name. I‘m sure it means a lot to Chaya that you put so much of yourself into naming her. 2mo
Chrissyreadit @Butterfinger I love your story❤️ 2mo
13 likes18 comments
review
ravenlee
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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Pickpick

This was a really good book, with friendship growing pains and family secrets galore. It took me a few chapters to settle in, but I finished this in one day. Such a heartbreaking story in one way, and so beautiful in another.

It‘s got me thinking about how old is “old enough” to share some family history with kiddo. Not secrets, but some drama that requires a little maturity to understand. It made me empathize with the parents in this story.

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Roary47
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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Mehso-so

3✨ I don‘t completely understand why there was the secret. This is why I didn‘t rate it higher. This is the type of story that needs to be told. Sometimes it seems that history is being erased because it offends someone. In reality it should offend you because it was wrong and that‘s why change was sought. I think I heard about the horrid injustice before, but didn‘t remember until it was explained in this book. Read for #MGBuddyReads @megnews

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erzascarletbookgasm
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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Pickpick

A good story about a young girl who learns about her family history and heritage. It‘s also about the importance of family love, navigating friendship issues, and reconnecting with one‘s culture. Some sad history learnt.

#NativeAmericanHeritageMonth

#MGBuddyRead @megnews

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TheBookHippie
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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Pickpick

So. Good. #mgbuddyread

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sblbooks
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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Pickpick

🌟🌟🌟🌟
An eye-opening story about a twelve-year-old Suquamish/ duwamish girl who learns about friendship, family secrets and Native American identity. Biographical fiction at its best, this was based on the author's family. #TIL Today I learned about the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978. #MgbuddyRead @megnews

megnews I love when a fictional work teaches me something I didn‘t know about. I‘m learning a lot I never this month reading books written by Indigenous authors. 3mo
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Chrissyreadit
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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Pickpick

I love, love, love this middle grade book. The main character is a sweet 12 year old who has discovered a box in the attic about a secret family past. This was a gentle way to introduce mg readers to another tragic aspect of racism against Native Americans. #mgbuddyread

Trashcanman Hi Chrissy 🤗🤗🤗 3mo
Chrissyreadit @Trashcanman I‘m always happy when you “stop by” to visit. My daughter is sort of living in LA now btw- is that your stomping ground? 3mo
megnews @Chrissyreadit if you loved this, try 3mo
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megnews ⬆️I‘m learning so much from this! 3mo
Chrissyreadit @megnews thanks! I stacked it. 3mo
Butterfinger Wow! I stacked it too @megnews 3mo
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megnews
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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JaclynW I wonder how many children have this same experience. I bet the number is high. 3mo
megnews @JaclynW I think so too. I‘m reading a lot of Native authors this month and a widely used theme is foster care, adoption etc. 3mo
JaclynW @megnews Wow. That definitely says something about their experience. I haven't read a lot about Native Americans so I am grateful to be reading these that you choose. The most memorable and eye opening one I have read that changed my entire outlook was 3mo
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IndoorDame
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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Pickpick

This struck me as painfully earnest at first, but in the end it didn‘t shy away from harsh realities. I think it was a good coming of age portrayal of a sheltered child seeing the world as it really is for the first time and getting ready to take that on which a lot of young readers could benefit from. #MGbuddyread

TheBookHippie I can‘t wait to read this tonight! 3mo
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megnews
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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Pickpick

This is such a simple story but so sweet I couldn‘t help but give it 5 stars. Looking forward to #MGBuddyRead discussion 11/13.

#NativeAmericanHeritageMonth

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megnews
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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Reminder for #MGBuddyRead & #YABuddyRead #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth reads next month. Please let me know which, if any, you plan to read so I can tag you for discussion. All welcome!!

Butterfinger I'm going to try for both. 3mo
BarbaraJean I‘m in for #MGBuddyRead! 3mo
TheBookHippie Trying for both!!! 3mo
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Chrissyreadit Definitely in 3mo
Roary47 I can do both this time! Yay! 3mo
Kdgordon88 Hope to read both! 3mo
IndoorDame I‘m in for the MG read this month 3mo
sblbooks I'm in for the #mgbuddyread 3mo
catebutler Planning on the #MGBuddyRead! 3mo
JaclynW Both for me. 3mo
erzascarletbookgasm Pls tag me for the MG book. Just got my copy from the library. Thanks 😊 3mo
44 likes12 comments
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SarahBradley
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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Christine Day tells the story of a girl who uncovers her family‘s secrets—and finds her own Native American identity. Brings to light plights of Native Americans through a well-crafted narrative. Book 10 #MGMarch #middlegrademarch

9 likes1 comment
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Reign_1982
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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Pickpick

Definitely a cute Native American story. I'm not even going to share anything.. except this "EDITH."

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Eggs
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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Pickpick

Edie is 12 yo part Native American, but realizes there are some shadowy secrets in her mom‘s past. Then she finds some photos in the attic of a young woman named Edith who resembles Edie... Recommend 💖

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Hannah_H
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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Pickpick

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ness
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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Pickpick

What a truly lovely middle grade story about a Native girl whose mother was adopted by a white family learning about her community and her family. This is one I‘m definitely going to pick up for my library. #LibrariansofLitsy

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ness
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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Time to check this out while I wait for my car to be serviced.

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BookInMyHands
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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Pickpick

Edie knows her mom‘s heritage is Native American, but her mom was adopted by a white family in the 70‘s and she knows nothing beyond this. When she and her friends find a box full of letters and from her mom‘s birth mother, she realizes her mother has known far more than she‘s let on.

This compelling story sheds light on a few of the injustices Native Americans have faced, and finds hope in the future.

#readingwomenofcolor2019
#middlegrade

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emtobiasz
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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Breakfast and a book this morning #middlegrade #kidlit #ownvoices #indigenouslit

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Librariana
I Can Make This Promise | Christine Day
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I have books...

I have books I am currently, actively reading...

I don't *need* to bring home any more books and yet...

I absolutely cannot help myself!

I add new titles to the collection as part of my job and it is like working in a candy store.

I added all of these to my hold queue yesterday and wouldn't you know it... available today for check out.

#libraryhaul #thelibrarylife

Cinfhen #LifeOfAReader and I‘m VERY envious of your job! 🙌🏻💚 (edited) 2y
Hooked_on_books I completely relate. Other than the working at a library thing. I would try to hoard the books for myself, so probably best I don‘t work there. 😂 2y
Librariana @Cinfhen - There are definitely more aspects to it than just adding titles to the catalog, but that is my favorite by far 😊 All of our materials, print and non, are divided throughout the room based on the stage they're in - cataloging, processing, or adding - and if time permits, we all take quick peeks to see what's coming down the line to us. 2y
Librariana @Hooked_on_books - Oh, trust and believe that the temptation is REAL! There are four of us CSAs (Collection Services Assistants) so when we go load up our carts for the day, we're only seeing a fourth of what's being added, so we definitely miss out on some things. But agreed that for many of the ones I add, I'm always tempted by many of them! 😁 2y
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