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Diane Wilson’s ‘The Seed Keeper’ chosen as ‘A Novel Idea’ 2022 community read

The Deschutes Public Library's 2022 'A Novel Idea...Read Together' book selection, 'The Seed Keeper,' by Diane Wilson
Diane Wilson photo: Sarah Whiting
The Deschutes Public Library's 2022 'A Novel Idea...Read Together' book selection, 'The Seed Keeper,' by Diane Wilson

This year's youth book: Christine Day's 'I Can Make This Promise'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Deschutes Public Library is pleased to announce The Seed Keeper as the 2022 “A Novel Idea…Read Together” selection. The book, written by Diane Wilson, was revealed during a virtual event on Sunday.

A youth book, I Can Make This Promise, by Christine Day will also join the growing list of coveted books and notable authors as part of the “A Novel Idea” project.

“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.”

“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.”

“A Novel Idea” is the largest community read 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 our community.

Mark your calendars for April 2022, when programming for “A Novel Idea” kicks off. Throughout the month, readers can explore and expound upon ideas found in The Seed Keeper and I Can Make This Promise. “A Novel Idea” programming culminates with a free presentation by authors Diane Wilson and Christine Day the first weekend in May. All programs, including the authors’ presentations, are free of charge thanks to the support of the Deschutes Public Library Foundation.

“We work year-round to provide a platform for our wonderful community of readers, library staff, local businesses and partners to have an event they commit to year-after-year,” said Goodrich.

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 Keeper
Rosalie 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 Wilson
Diane 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 Promise
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. 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.

For more information about A Novel Idea, please contact Liz Goodrich at (541) 312-1032 or Check out the “A Novel Idea” website at for event listings as they are scheduled and for author information.

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