Christine Day - I Can Make This Promise

A poignant and powerful debut #OwnVoices middle grade novel, about a girl who uncovers a secret that connects her to her Native American heritage, and that throws everything she knows about her family into question. This story is based on the twenty-five-year-old author’s own family history.

In her debut middle grade novel inspired by her family’s history, Native (Upper Skagit) author Christine Day tells the story of a girl grappling with the secrets of her mother’s birth family and trying to find 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?

★ "Beyond the mystery, important themes resonate throughout, including cultural identity and what makes a friendship worth keeping. Day's affecting novel also considers historical truths about how Native Americans have been treated throughout U.S. history, particularly underlining family separations."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

" I Can Make This Promise manages to be both deeply sad and brightly hopeful, and Edie Green will steal readers' hearts with her empathy and curious spirit--she certainly stole mine."--Hayley Chewins, author of The Turnaway Girls

"Day's novel brings an accessible, much-needed perspective about the very real consequences of Indigenous children being taken from their families and Native Nations. The absence of one's tribal community, loss of culture and lack of connection to relatives have ripple effects for generations."--Traci Sorell (Cherokee Nation), award-winning author of We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

"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."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


Christine Day (Upper Skagit) grew up in Seattle, nestled between the sea, the mountains, and the pages of her favorite books. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Washington, where she created a thesis on Coast Salish weaving traditions. I Can Make This Promise is her first novel. Christine lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband. You can visit her online at

I Can Make This Promise Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062871992
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Quill Tree Books - October 1st, 2019