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Healer of the Water Monster



by
Brian Young

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
HarperCollins
Imprint
Heartdrum
ISBN
9780062990402
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Reference or Discussion
$20.22   $16.85
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Brian Young’s debut novel, inspired by Navajo beliefs, features a seemingly ordinary boy who must save the life of a Water Monster—and help his uncle suffering from addiction—by discovering his own bravery and boundless love. An outstanding debut from a promising young Navajo author.

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. 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 something 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 help Uncle Jet heal from his own pain.Glossary. Author’s note. 

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Reference or Discussion

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

368

Trim Size

8 3/10" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

0: points 0

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Oct 2021

Book Genres

Fantasy

Topics

Navajo boys. Navajo families. Grandmothers. Uncles. Navajo cosmology. New Mexico. Navajo Indian reservations. Legends, myths, fables. Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Monsters. Pollution. PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder).

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Praise & Reviews

Horn Book

Eleven-year-old Nathan convinces his (divorced) parents to let him stay with his grandmother, Nali (a Navajo word used for paternal relationships, e.g. paternal grandparents), in New Mexico during the summer so he can work on a science experiment. Nali’s mobile home does not have indoor plumbing or electricity, and although this means no cellphone for two months, it is better than spending time with his dad and his girlfriend. After planting traditional as well as store-bought corn seeds for his experiment, Nathan notices that the traditional seeds are missing. One night he finds a horned toad taking his seeds and follows it into the desert. There he finds a sick water monster. At the same time, Uncle Jet has returned home from the Marines and needs healing as well. Nathan is committed to helping them both. To do that, Nathan must travel to the Third World to meet with the Mother Water Monster. Young does a great job of mixing Navajo lore with current concerns. The water monster represents the many bodies of water that are sick from pollution and overuse; many Navajo men and women have returned home from war sick like Uncle Jet. The book explores how healing must come from both modern and traditional medicines. A glossary helps readers understand the Navajo words and relationships that are important to the story. NICHOLL DENICE MONTGOMERY

Praise & Reviews

Horn Book

Eleven-year-old Nathan convinces his (divorced) parents to let him stay with his grandmother, Nali (a Navajo word used for paternal relationships, e.g. paternal grandparents), in New Mexico during the summer so he can work on a science experiment. Nali’s mobile home does not have indoor plumbing or electricity, and although this means no cellphone for two months, it is better than spending time with his dad and his girlfriend. After planting traditional as well as store-bought corn seeds for his experiment, Nathan notices that the traditional seeds are missing. One night he finds a horned toad taking his seeds and follows it into the desert. There he finds a sick water monster. At the same time, Uncle Jet has returned home from the Marines and needs healing as well. Nathan is committed to helping them both. To do that, Nathan must travel to the Third World to meet with the Mother Water Monster. Young does a great job of mixing Navajo lore with current concerns. The water monster represents the many bodies of water that are sick from pollution and overuse; many Navajo men and women have returned home from war sick like Uncle Jet. The book explores how healing must come from both modern and traditional medicines. A glossary helps readers understand the Navajo words and relationships that are important to the story. NICHOLL DENICE MONTGOMERY

Grades 5-8
Fantasy/Science Fiction Middle Plus
For Grades 5-8

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14 books per Year
$235.90 per Year
Interests
Chapter Books/Novels,Fiction,Graphic Novels,Reluctant Readers,Thriller/Horror/Mystery
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Grades 5-8
Fantasy/Science Fiction Middle Plus
14 books per Year
$235.90 per Year

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