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 December 5. 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

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Book Club Resources

Join a Librarian-led Library Book Club to read A Novel Idea (ANI) 2022

Or start your own book club with these tips and ideas:

Where to find the book

Individual copies of the book are available through the library and local bookstores. Library copies of the digital audiobook and e-book are available through Hoopla. Book Club Kits are available in limited supply and can be reserved through the catalog.

If you have any questions, please contact Paige Ferro at

Central Oregon Bookstores

Roundabout Books

900 NW Washington Dr. Suite 110
Bend, OR
(541) 306-6564

Barnes and Noble

2690 NE Highway 20
Bend, OR
(541) 318-7242

Dudley’s Bookshop Café

135 NW Minnestota Avenue
Bend, OR
(541) 749-2010

Paulina Springs

252 W Hood Ave.
Sisters, OR
(541) 549-0866

Herringbone Books

422 SW 6th St.
Redmond, OR
(541) 526-1491

Sunriver Books and Music

57100 Beaver Drive
Sunriver Village, Building 25C
Sunriver, Oregon
541) 593-2525

Star quilt

The giving of buffalo hides and robes is a tradition among many tribes as an act of love, peace, and respect. And even after the near intentional extinction of the buffalo, the act of giving continued its way through the dedication of women, when they learned to sew quilts. The star quilt was adopted by many tribes during the reservation era, when tribes were displaced from their traditional homelands onto reservations and witnessed the near extermination of the buffalo. Giving a star quilt is one of the greatest honors among the Lakota, Dakota, and other Northern Plains tribes that have traditionally hunted buffalo.

The lone star was chosen as the main design as many traditional designs emulated stars, particularly the morning star—the star that welcomes the new day. Today, star quilts are gifted in a manner in which the buffalo hides were gifted, marking significant events among a people and family. The first given at birth and the last given at death.

Thompson, D. (2019, November 24). Lakota Star Quilt Maker shares her journey. Retrieved October 12, 2021, from

Star map flip chart

To Win/Tun Win

To Win/Tun Win
Blue/Birth Woman
Big Dipper/Ursa Major

Blue/Birth Woman lives at the center of the scoop in the Big Dipper and is the doorkeeper between the star world and the Earth. Midwives and others pray to the Blue/Birth Woman Spirit so newborn babies will enter this world safely.

See the constellation on the star map: D(L)akota Star Map by Annette S. Lee

Wiçinyanna Sakowin/Wiçincala Sakowin

Wiçinyanna Sakowin/Wiçincala Sakowin
Seven Girls

Blue/Birth Woman lives at the center of the scoop in the Big Dipper and is the doorkeeper between the star world and the Earth. Midwives and others pray to the Blue/Birth Woman Spirit so newborn babies will enter this world safely.

See the constellation on the star map: D(L)akota Star Map by Annette S. Lee

Wiçinyanna Sakowin/Wiçincala Sakowin

Wiçanhpi waziyata/Wiçanhpi Owanjila
Star which stands in one place
North Star/Polaris

According to Victor Douville (Rosebud Lakota), one story tells of how the North Star married Tonwin, a human woman. She lived in the star world with him but missed her home. One day she dug up a turnip (even though she was told not to) and there was a hole. Through this hole she could see everyone back home. She fell through the hole. Her son survived and later became the hero, Fallen Star. North Star was so sad from losing his wife that he froze in the same spot.

See the constellation on the star map: D(L)akota Star Map by Annette S. Lee

Page Last Modified Wednesday, March 9, 2022