Brian Young’s powerful debut novel tells of a seemingly ordinary Navajo boy who must save the life of a Water Monster—and comes to realize he’s a hero at heart.
When Nathan goes to visit his grandma, Nali, at her mobile summer home on the Navajo reservation, he knows he’s in for a pretty uneventful summer, with no electricity or cell service. Still, he loves spending time with Nali and with his uncle Jet, though it’s clear when Jet arrives that he brings his problems with him.
One night, while lost in the nearby desert, Nathan finds someone extraordinary: a Holy Being from the Navajo Creation Story—a Water Monster—in need of help.
Now Nathan must summon all his courage to save his new friend. With the help of other Navajo Holy Beings, Nathan is determined to save the Water Monster, and to support Uncle Jet in healing from his own pain.
The Heartdrum imprint centers a wide range of intertribal voices, visions, and stories while welcoming all young readers, with an emphasis on the present and future of Indian Country and on the strength of young Native heroes. In partnership with We Need Diverse Books.
"Unplug your electronics and join pre-pubescent Nathan for an unforgettable summer visit with his Nali. No electricity or running water for two months gets him outside more where he connects with a Holy Being from his Navajo Creation story. One new friend leads to many other new Holy Being friendships as Nathan can communicate with them. His new friend asks for help, to get medicine from the Spirit realm. How scary would that be!!!! His uncle also asks for Nathan’s help. Nathan chooses to help, often, which leads to exciting adventures both in the physical and spiritual realm. Yes, he travels on the wind and so much more!
This Navajo story is solidly built on Navajo worldview and teachings. It is a contemporary story which recognizes how human behaviour has negatively affected the health of our planet. Our youth are connected. Action can be taken by all to ensure the next seven generations have a home called Earth." - Dr. Laura Horton