Guided by her Navajo ancestors, seventh-grader Nizhoni Begay discovers she is descended from a holy woman and destined to become a monsterslayer, starting with the evil businessman who kidnapped her father. Includes glossary of Navajo terms. - (Baker & Taylor)
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.
*"Fans of Hugo and Nebula winner Roanhorse will appreciate her fast-paced prose, page-turning chapter endings, and most of all, strong female protagonist."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
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.
Endorsed by Rick Riordan, author of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, soon to be a series on Disney+. - (Grand Central Pub)
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. - (Grand Central Pub)
Seventh-grader Nizhoni can see monsters—a power, she learns, inherited from her long-lost monster-slayer mother. After her father receives a too-good-to-be-true job offer from Mr. Charles, the head of an evil, pipeline-laying corporation, Nizhoni discovers that Mr. Charle's is a shape-shifting monster in disguise, intent on kidnapping her brother and using his water-bending powers to help with a nefarious fracking scheme. To defeat Mr. Charles, Nizhoni embarks on a quest for weapons, and readers will follow her through Diné (or Navajo) legend, into the Glittering World in search of Spider Woman, across the four sacred mountains, and through the Rainbow Road, to the House of the Sun. Tight prose and fast pacing will carry readers through the exciting quest, though it may be to the detriment of the characters, who are left one-dimensional and whose hurdles are dispatched with little resistance. Still, in the tradition of Rick Riordan Presents, Roanhorse—who herself is of Pueblo, not Navajo, heritage—brings mainstream representation that will provide new windows for many, and long-awaited mirrors for others. Grades 3-6. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.