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.
In this fantasy inspired by Navajo legends, two siblings discover they're the latest incarnations of the famed Hero Twins, just in time to combat a devious monster who plans to unleash his brethren upon the world. In Albuquerque, N.M., 12-year-old Nizhoni Begay can detect monsters disguised as regular people. And no one heeds her warnings, even when one monster her father's new boss, Mr. Charles, an oil executive at a company that "people are protesting for putting in that pipeline" shows interest in her Navajo heritage. After Mr. Charles kidnaps her father, Nizhoni, along with her younger brother Marcus and her best friend Davery, journey across the American Southwest and into a spiritual realm to obtain the weapons needed to defeat Mr. Charles's army of monsters. But for Nizhoni to follow in her long-vanished mother's footsteps as a monster slayer, she must survive a grueling series of challenges. Roanhorse (the Sixth World series for adults), who is Ohkay Owingeh and African-American, draws on her husband's heritage to reimagine Navajo stories and characters, delivering a fast-paced, exciting adventure. While the antagonists could stand further development, Nizhoni's blend of snark, confidence, and humor proves as multifaceted as the satisfying tale's focus on friendship, family, and cultural legacy. Ages 8 12.