I Can Make This Promise

Edie is twelve and curious. Her mom is Native, and her dad is white. While she knows quite a bit about her dad's ancestors, the only information she knows about her mom's family is that she was adopted from an orphanage. Edie really wants to know where she comes from, but the adults in her life avoid her questions. When she finds an old photo in the attic of someone who looks exactly like her, Edie is determined to learn more — even if the truth is painful. This novel tells a bittersweet story that shines a light on some challenging elements of Pacific Northwest history. 

288 pages. ©2020.
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Reader Reviews for this Book


Review posted March 1, 2023


If you are looking for a diverse young adult text, this is an absolutely wonderful choice. The writing draws you in to the experiences of the characters in a really beautiful way. It features refreshing middle grade characers and it approaches topics of cultural roots and heritage in a really meaningful way.

Amanda Leith

Review posted February 27, 2023


Absolutely beautiful story. Makes you realize how much Natives have suffered over the years.


Review posted January 28, 2023


Good and easy read! There are elements of identity, friendship, and family relationships, as well as mystery and history of Natives in the Pacific Northwest. I give it a thumbs up!


Review posted December 6, 2022


I l7ove young adult novels that give me a different persepective about a culture that isn't as familiar to me as my own. The joy I get from learning about indigenous lives, I can't wait to finish this book.


Review posted November 27, 2022


My students and I have enjoyed reading through this wonderful book during our first novel study of the school year this November. Edie is such a relatable character and Day does a tremendous job introducing real, difficult challenges facing Native American communities both regionally and nationally through Edie and her family's---both known and unknown---experiences. I strongly recommend this novel for teachers and parents wanting to add impactful indigenous representation for their children and students to explore and learn from.


Review posted November 15, 2022


A great book that I can't wait to finish reading with my 8-year-old!

Toby Abraham-Rhine

Review posted November 15, 2022


Although the story starts slowly, it picks up half way through and becomes a page turner. Young readers will easily relate to the first half where the main character must struggle with pre-adolescent issues of friend loyalty. The author truly knows the minds and hearts of young girls and my students will readily relate to "Edie" as she navigates the same situations that face daily. Most appreciated and most tragic is the telling of the true injustices faced by our nations Native people. The story leaves the reader with much to consider and I hope that it will inspire a whole new generation of young activists. Our Sovereign Nations deserve our respect and admiration and for somehow to right all these wrongs.


Review posted October 14, 2022


It’s Amazing and challenging to read this important story with challenges in the pnw, as well as all across the United States concerning tribal land and learning about personal cultural identity.


Review posted September 9, 2022


A true uncomplicated telling of a complicated story. Christine Day does a great job touching on a neglected part of American history in a manner that is respectful those affected while inspiring deeper discussion. Day does well blending fiction with true events from history. This would be a great read for a history class to introduce the topic.

Liam O'Grady

Review posted September 2, 2022


At first I was scared, honestly, to have the story be revealed, only assuming as though something bad would come out of the truth being revealed. But Day did wonderful work letting things play out so I could enjoy reading every word. I was delighted to read this book as a Molalla Highschool Native and felt closer to Seattle as I ventured into the depths of Edie's story. Thanks so much for the adventure into Native American culture. I recommend this book not only to teenagers, but adults as well. Day did a great job just using adjectives to describe sounds and feelings making it feel as though I was actually there experiencing. What more can I say about this book but that it was a great plot and I enjoyed the story, even though I didn't like some parts where there was tension. Alas there is resolve and resolution and it is a great read.


Review posted August 15, 2022


I loved this book! Great, nuanced story.


Review posted August 2, 2022


Heartwarming, heartfelt, charming and worth the cute read.

Paula Jenssen

Review posted July 24, 2022


A thought provoking good read

Penny McDermott

Review posted July 13, 2022


This book is amazing. It is an empathetic approach to looking at 'hard histories' with young students. Edie's parents keep a painful past from her to protect her. I look forward to sharing this book with my students and their families.


Review posted July 5, 2022


This was a touching book though did not have much depth.


Review posted May 15, 2022


Christine Day's I Can Make this Promise, is nice piece of fiction about family, native peoples, adoption, and friendship from the point of view of a likable 12 year old girl. It is set in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle in particular. There are many lessons and truths that Edie, the main character, learns that we can empathize with. The story doesn't have a lot of tension except for the mystery of her grandmother. Overall, a good read.


Review posted May 10, 2022


Amazing story!


Review posted May 3, 2022


Great content, Great conversation starter, Great and meaningful for all ages.


Review posted April 24, 2022


My daughter and I loved reading this book together.


Review posted April 23, 2022


This is a beautiful heartfelt book about a young girl's search to understand and connect with her past, her culture, and her family.


Review posted April 20, 2022


I enjoyed learning about Native American history. The story was nice. It made me a little sad because I had a similar experience, losing a "best" friend when she started hanging out with the mean girls.


Review posted April 11, 2022


This book is such a good book. It's very well written.


Review posted March 25, 2022


Good premise, well written, enjoyed even though for young population.