written by Judy Young

“If Kaden had gotten the dog he wanted for his eleventh birthday, it would have barked when the man walked up the narrow path from the road. The man would have wondered how a dog got trapped in the top of an abandoned fire tower. He would have tried to rescue it, and Kaden’s secret hiding spot would have been discovered instantly. But the man took no notice of a crow cawing incessantly from the window of the fire tower. Kubla was much better than a watchdog if you really wanted no one to notice you.”

For most of his life, Kaden has managed to stay under the radar. With the exception of a crow named Kubla, Kaden doesn’t have any friends, but he’s been okay with that. Friends can ask inconvenient questions, like “Why do you live with your grandma, and where is your dad?” Questions Kaden doesn’t want to answer. But now, his life is getting complicated. He’s starting middle school, which brings its own set of problems for a boy who doesn’t fit in. And if that isn’t enough to worry about, he has secretly learned that his father, a man he has never known, is getting out of prison and will soon be coming to live with them in the cabins outside the little town of Promise. For the first time in his life, Kaden is offered the hope of friendship when a new boy, Yo-Yo, shows up at school. But, can Kaden trust him? Will Yo-Yo be a real friend after he learns about Kaden’s father?


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ISBN: N/A Category:

A Novel Written by Judy Young

Published by Sleeping Bear Press, 2015

368 pages


Manhattan Book Review: “This piece of realistic fiction is gritty and heart-wrenching, hopeful and funny.”

Andrea Karlin, International Literacy Association: “Original, realistic, thought-provoking, humorous, and at times heartbreaking, PROMISE will thoroughly engage readers and have them cheering for Kaden as he faces the challenges of middle school and a not so ordinary home situation with courage and integrity. PROMISE fulfills the promise of a page-turning read.”

Middle Shelf Magazine: “Promise reminds us that despite disappointment and heartbreak, there is always hope for something better.”

Michael Shaughnessy, Editor-In-Chief, Gifted Education International: “Promise is a wonderful book that will tug at your heartstrings. Judy Young… creates warm human characters with real issues and real dialog, and most importantly the sharing of real emotions and feelings … the inter-personal realms of intimacy, care, love and growth. Kaden and his concerns will remain with you long after the last page.