Rebecca Roanhorse bases this action-packed adventure in the world of the Dine, or Navajo creation myths. Young Nizhoni Begay is a typical seventh grader. She is trying to find one thing that she can be best at, so she won’t feel like such a loser at school. Lately, though, she has been dealing with something that has been occupying her mind even more: she is able to see monsters. Even when they look human and wear a coat and tie (as Nizhoni says, scales, horns, and claws are for beginners.) When she hears a talking stuffed horned toad telling her that she and her brother are descended from the Hero Twins, sons of First Woman who were known as Monsterslayer and Born for Water, she finds that they must journey to the Sun and complete 4 impossible tasks in order to save the world from the monster she saw. I enjoyed this book immensely and recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Rick Riordan’s books.
“Nizhoni Begay is a heroine you won’t soon forget! Roanhorse delves into Native American mythology with glee as Nizhoni learns about her heritage and what it takes to become a hero. With a colorful cast of characters—Mr. Yazzie the horned toad being a personal favorite—it’s a race to the sun god for mythical weapons so Nizhoni and company can free her father from a tyrannical monster (who also happens to be an oil baron).”
— Sami Thomason, Square Books, Oxford, MS
Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents critically acclaimed indigenous fantasy writer Rebecca Roanhorse's thrilling adventure about a Navajo girl who discovers she's a monsterslayer.
Lately, seventh grader Nizhoni Begay has been able to detect monsters, like that man in the fancy suit who was in the bleachers at her basketball game. Turns out he's Mr. Charles, her dad's new boss at the oil and gas company, and he's alarmingly interested in Nizhoni and her brother, Mac, their Navajo heritage, and the legend of the Hero Twins. Nizhoni knows he's a threat, but her father won't believe her.
When Dad disappears the next day, leaving behind a message that says "Run!", the siblings and Nizhoni's best friend, Davery, are thrust into a rescue mission that can only be accomplished with the help of Diné Holy People, all disguised as quirky characters. Their aid will come at a price: the kids must pass a series of trials in which it seems like nature itself is out to kill them. If Nizhoni, Mac, and Davery can reach the House of the Sun, they will be outfitted with what they need to defeat the ancient monsters Mr. Charles has unleashed. But it will take more than weapons for Nizhoni to become the hero she was destined to be . . .
Timeless themes such as the importance of family and respect for the land resonate in this funny, fast-paced, and exciting quest adventure set in the American Southwest.
About the Author
Rebecca Roanhorse (www.RebeccaRoanhorse.com) is a black/indigenous (Ohkay Owingeh) writer of speculative fiction, including two adult books in the Sixth World series, Trail of Lightning and Storm of Locusts, and a Nebula and Hugo-winning short story, "Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience." Race to the Sun is her middle grade debut. Rebecca, a graduate of Yale, is a lawyer by day who specializes in federal Indian and tribal law. She lives in Northern New Mexico with her Navajo husband and their daughter. For more information, go to www.RebeccaRoanhorse.com or follow her on Twitter @RoanhorseBex.
"A breathtaking quest filled with heart and pure magic. Readers will fall in love with monsters layer Nizhoni Begay. I know I did."—J.C. Cervantes, author of the New York Times best-selling STORM RUNNER