Desch. Public Library announces new books for “A Novel Idea” program

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Deschutes Public Library announced Sunday that The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson will be the 2022 “A Novel Idea…Read Together” selection.

I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day, a young adult book, will also be joining the “A Novel Idea” project.

“A Novel Idea” is the largest community reading program in the state of Oregon with more than 9,000 people participating in 2021.

The goal is to inspire Deschutes County residents to read, discuss and attend free cultural and author events to unite the community.

“Embarking on our 19th year of ‘A Novel Idea’, readers are invited to delve into two separate yet deeply rooted books,” said Deschutes Public Library Programs Supervisor Liz Goodrich.

“Day’s novel is inspired by her own family’s history, while Wilson blends history and fiction, offering an inspiring story of Dakota women who protected their family seeds and way of life.

“Both authors are remarkable storytellers and their connection to the natural world fills each page with hope.”

The “A Novel Idea” program kicks off in April 2022, which will include free presentations by authors Diane Wilson and Christine Day during the first weekend in May.

“This year more than 50 books were nominated and read as part of the selection process,” said Goodrich. “The committee strives to promote thoughtful subject matter and bring forth emerging authors that have a story to tell.

“Wilson and Day represent books that revolve around healing generational trauma and family—whether by choice or by blood—and that can look a lot of different ways.”

The program is free due to funding through the Deschutes Public Library Foundation.

The Seed Keeper (Milkweed Editions) and I Can Make This Promise (HarperCollins) are offered in e-book and audiobook format with instant downloads available through hoopla, a free e-book service available from the Library.

Physical books can be reserved from the Library or purchased from local bookstores in Deschutes County.

The Library also provides a limited number of book club kit bags. The bags include 12 copies of the The Seed Keeper and discussion questions.

Book club bags can be reserved via the Library’s online catalog.

About the Book: The Seed KeeperRosalie Iron Wing has grown up in the woods with her father, Ray, a former science teacher who tells her stories of plants, of the stars, of the origins of the Dakota people. Until, one morning, Ray doesn’t return from checking his traps. Told she has no family, Rosalie is sent to live with a foster family in nearby Mankato—where the reserved, bookish teenager meets rebellious Gaby Makespeace, in a friendship that transcends the damaged legacies they’ve inherited. A haunting novel spanning several generations, The Seed Keeper follows a Dakota family’s struggle to preserve their way of life, and their sacrifices to protect what matters most.

About the Author: Diane WilsonDiane Wilson (Dakota) uses personal experience to illustrate broader social and historical context. Wilson’s memoir, Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past, won a 2006 Minnesota Book Award and her nonfiction book, Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life, was awarded the 2012 Barbara Sudler Award from History Colorado. She is a descendent of the Mdewakanton Oyate and enrolled on the Rosebud Reservation. Wilson currently serves as the Executive Director for the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance.

About the Book: I Can Make This PromiseAll 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. I Can Make This Promise is a debut, middle grade novel about the story of a girl who uncovers her family’s secrets—and finds her own Native American identity.

About the Author: Christine Day

Christine Day (Upper Skagit) grew up in Seattle, nestled between the sea, the mountains and the pages of her favorite books. Her debut novel, I Can Make This Promise, was a best book of the year from Kirkus, School Library Journal, NPR, and the Chicago Public Library, as well as a Charlotte Huck Award Honor Book, and an American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book. Day lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.

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