Healer of the Water Monster

$9.99 USD

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Brian Young’s (Navajo) 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, now in paperback! 

When Nathan goes to visit his grandma, Nali, at her mobile home on the Navajo reservation, he knows he’s in for a summer with no running water and no electricity. That’s okay, though. 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.

Together, Nathan and the Water Monster named Pond must figure out how to cure the mysterious illness that plagues Pond. With the help of other Navajo Holy Beings, Nathan is determined to save his new friend—and to help Uncle Jet heal from his own pain.

Author and filmmaker Brian Young is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. He grew up on the Navajo reservation in Arizona. Brian earned his BA in Film Studies at Yale University and his MFA in Creative Writing at Columbia University. He lives in New York City.


"Gentle, complex characters and flawed, loving human relationships lend depth to Young’s worlds-spanning novel." -Publishers Weekly (starred review) "The deeply grounded and original perspective of this story brings readers into both the worlds of Navajo blessing songs, rain songs, and traditional healing and everyday family relationships. Hands readers a meaningful new take on family love." -Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Young’s narrative weaves traditional folklore, language, and mythos with modern emotion to craft a poignant tale of family, friendship, and protecting what you love most." -Booklist "Visibility is of utmost importance, and books like this one deserve warm spotlights, everywhere." -American Indians in Children's Literature

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