Booklist - Promise
The town of Promise is a tight-knit one, but 11-year-old Kaden has always been on the outside, with only a half-tame raven for a friend. He and his strict grandmother live simply just outside the town limits and keep to themselves, barely acknowledging their old family shame: Kaden’s father has been in jail for theft most of the boy’s life. When he is released from prison and returns to Promise, Kaden’s father turns his son’s life upside down. In this first novel, Young navigates important questions of morality and family carefully, if a bit heavy-handedly. Kaden’s father is never sufficiently developed enough to really have an impact, and some of the grandmother’s eccentricities are confusing. However, side characters add life to the story—most notably Kaden’s boisterous new pal, Yo-Yo, and his even-keeled neighbor Emmett. A bold look at the little-discussed subject of the prison system and the stigma that surrounds the families of the incarcerated.