Author weaves history, heritage and healing into new book

The story behind Davis Endava’s new children’s book began in an unexpected place: her mother-in-law’s house.

Islander Davis Endava will present a reading of her new book, “The Raven Calls,” at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, May 26, at Snapdragon Bakery & Café.

Endava, a Hopi and Purapecha author rooted in Seattle and raised in Woodinville, moved to Vashon years ago and currently works as the director of equity and belonging for the island’s Journeymen and One Village programs.

The story behind her new children’s book, Endava said in an email, began in an unexpected place: her mother-in-law’s house on Vashon.

“One night, I had a vivid dream about an Indigenous girl and a cedar tree overlooking Puget Sound,” she said. “When I woke up, I felt a strong urge to capture this story, and in just three days, I wrote an entire novella.”

The book — filled with themes of nature, history, and magic — follows Raven, a young girl on Vashon, who discovers her heritage and begins healing her family after receiving deep wisdom and guidance from a cedar tree.

But for a year after she wrote it, the manuscript sat untouched, Endava said.

“I doubted whether I could ever get it published,” she said. “However, while pursuing a restorative justice certificate, I encountered the “Rejection Challenge” — a task to seek out rejection every day for a year. Inspired by this challenge, I decided to take a shot at getting my book published.”

After facing several rejections from various publishers, Endava reached out to Black Bear and Blueberries Publishing, an Indigenous publishing agency, which, to her delight, loved the story and agreed to publish “The Raven Calls.”

Endava said, that as an Indigenous author, she strives to uplift community narratives and share stories that resonate with her heritage.

“My hope is that this story connects with readers, encouraging a love for the region and a commitment to environmental stewardship,” she said.

The book is available online wherever books are sold, and locally, starting in June, at Spa Ecdysis & Apothecary. It is recommended for children ages 7-11, and adults of all ages.