Sunday, April 8, 2012

Blog Tour: Promises by Carolyn Twede Frank

by Carolyn Twede Frank
August corp Press, 2012
Grades 3 and up
Reviewed from copy provided by author for review.
Opinions expressed are solely my own.

Hattie is barely twelve when her pa’s “business adventures” disrupt her family and move them to the new town of Tropic, nestled in the shadows of old Ebenezer Bryce’s Canyon. Her pa views the town as opportunity. Hattie is hopelessly shy and views it with apprehension; she dreads the task of making new friends. More than anything else, Hattie wants to be like her father—not afraid of meeting new people, talking to strangers, and standing up for herself. So it is with trepidation that she accepts her pa’s challenge and promises to make new friends. Hattie forms more promises as she struggles to make friends, finding companionship in places she wouldn’t have expected and learning that there is a difference between complaining and standing up for oneself.

Promises is a heartwarming story of friendship with a touch of mystery and adventure set in the days before Bryce Canyon became a national park. Drawn from the memoirs of Hattie Adair Jolley and her children, it is a realistic glimpse into the past and a delightful story for readers ages eight to eighty.
Making and keeping promises is something that has long been important to me, but I've found working with children as I do I have to be careful what I promise, because they are really good at remembering such promises.  Unfortunately, I don't always remember the promises I make and I sometimes make promises that would not be considered wise.  But I always learn from these experiences and try to be more careful the next time.

I found this a refreshing story of family, friendship, and finding one's own voice. While not as polished as it could be, this is an interesting look at the importance and power of promises. I found Hattie easy to relate to, especially her struggles to overcome her timidity.  She reminds me of myself in many ways.  Her relationships with her family seemed very realistic and reminded me of my relationships with my own siblings and how they have changed over the years.  I think overall if I had to describe this book in one word I would say, family.  This book beautifully illustrates why family can be such a valuable part of the human experience.

About the Author:

Carolyn Twede Frank grew up in a small town in Utah.  Her love of writing first expressed itself in the third grade when she was given the assignment to write poetry and discovered the fun of creating rhymes.  In high school, she had her own column in the school newspaper, and one of her articles took third place in a national editorial writing contest.

She began college with a minor in journalism.  When an instructor slashed her writing up one side and down the other, she decided she wasn't cut out to be a writer--even though the teacher gave her an A, and told her that his harsh critiques were meant to prepare her for the real world.  In 2006, as a participant in her neighborhood book club, she read a novel that bothered her immensely by its contents.  She thought, "I can write a better story than this!"  Her love of writing was reawakened after twenty five years of dormancy, and she immediately began her first novel, Fleeing Flagstaff. Promises is Carolyn's first published novel.

Carolyn currently lives in Utah with her husband and youngest daughter, where she continues to write and love life.  You can visit her website:

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