I’m very picky with my middle grade reads, but when Laura from Green Tea & Paperbacks recommends a middle grade novel, it immediately goes to my TBR. And she was absolutely right!
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?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
I Can Make This Promise is a story about identity, family, and friendship. It takes our universal question about wondering where we are from, what our origins are, and sets it in the discovery of a box in the attic. This discovery convinces Edie that someone is lying to her about where her name came from. We always wonder about names. Where our names come from, and Edie’s discovery of a secret Edith makes her question everything.
In the midst of these gigantic questions, Edie also struggles with her friendship with her best friend. Growing pains and changes mean we can transform into someone new. Will we always be friends with these new versions of ourselves, our friends? Edie’s trust is broken on all sides as her best friend seems to be replacing her and her parents lies. At the same time, I Can Make This Promise is an amazing story that introduces difficult topics to younger middle grade readers such as cultural appropriation, the way our history books has erased narratives, and racism.
I adored I Can Make This Promise whether it be because of Edie’s character – she’s so curious and passionate – or her struggles with her parents. Sometimes people think they are protecting us when in reality it makes the situation worse. And no one likes to be the last to know. I Can Make This Promise is fabulous, subtle, and emotional. It’s a wonderful middle grade book that I can recommend to absolutely everyone.