We Still Belong

Written by Christine Day

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I had to read this newest book by Christine Day. Reading about the upper Skagit, Tulalip Bay, Whidbey Island, Olympic Mountains, Boeing, and Tolo was a happy stroll down memory lane for me.

On to the story, Wesley is a Native American twelve-year-old. She is an easy character to like and grows as her day goes on. While the subplot of being Indigenous is important, it is not the central focus. The most important lesson that Wesley comes to learn is that everyone, no matter their age or race, should learn kindness. Wesley chooses compassion and empathy in a moment where she could have chosen to be selfish. “It is impossible to know what other people are going through. You never really know who might be hurting. What pain and stories they might be carrying in their hearts. But it is always possible to be kind.” What better lesson to share with a young reader?

This is such a sweet story of being brave and being true to yourself, a good message for preteens and teens today. This upper middle grade book will be enjoyed by fifth grade and up.

Reviewed by Kristen Hunt, Librarian, Whittier Elementary School
Review shared in January 2024
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 5-8

We Still Belong
Written by Christine Day
Heartdrum, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
249 pages
Release Date: August 1, 2023
ISBN: 9780063064560
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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