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Race to the Sun

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  516 ratings  ·  146 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 306 pages
Published January 14th 2020 by Rick Riordan Presents
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Roberto I think it won't take so long for a cover.
Genevieve This is about Navajo stories (the Native Nation from the SW United States.) A lot of Navajo (Dine') people get asked if they are Japanese.

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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  516 ratings  ·  146 reviews

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Rick Riordan
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Changing Woman. Rock Crystal Boy. The Glittering World. The Hero Twins.

If those names don’t ring a bell, you’ve been missing out on some of the coolest mythology anywhere. (And as always, when I use the term myth, I use it in its first and most basic sense: a traditional story about gods and heroes, not in its later, more secondary connotation as something false or made up.) But don’t worry. Thanks to Rebecca Roanhorse and Race to the Sun, you’re about to plunge headfirst into the fabulous,
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-read
**3.5-stars rounded up**

When Nizhoni Begay notices a mysterious man in the bleachers at her Junior High basketball game, she can't take her eyes off him.

So much so, she misses the game winning shot!

The thing is, she knows instinctively that this man is a monster in disguise, a gift she has recently discovered she has.

After the game, she learns the monster is her Dad's new boss, Mr. Charles, and he is very interested in Nizhoni and her little brother, Mac.

Nizhoni calls out Mr. Charles to her
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: black-authors
Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

If you are looking for a fun, middle grade fantasy adventure with monsters, mythology, and #ownvoices Native American representation, then look no further! Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse is solidly written for her target audience, so don't expect this to be subtextually for adults as well. That said, it's fun, fast-paced, and is jam-packed with Navajo mythology. On an entertaining note- the "big bad" of the story is a monster disguised as a businessman who owns an
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Okay so full disclosure that I am not an unbiased reviewer.

I literally spend my days trying to find books for unserved Indigenous communities AND OH MY GOD THERE IS LIKE NOTHING OUT THERE! Now I don't live anywhere near a Navajo territory but having a book I can take to the communities I do serve with a power-wielding bad-ass Indigenous girl fighting against some evil dude trying to destroy the amazing! She's incredibly relatable and I love her family's backstory.

Rep: Navajo
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Reviewed at the Alliterates: Race to the Sun review

“Who you are is always enough.”

Nizhoniis in love with spaghetti, her FrankWalnshirt, and she has an incurable desire to be internet famous.

Roanhorse repeatedly makes it known that she wants books for her daughter to relate to when she grows up. This book is for right now.

Roanhorse isOhkay Owingeh Pueblo, African-American and Diné-in-law. Her daughter isDinéand part of that community. This book is an act of love for her daughter. It encourages
Lisa Wolf
What fun! Race to the Sun is the middle grade children’s adventure novel that we absolutely needed!

Written by the talented Rebecca Roanhorse, Race to the Sun uses Navajo mythology in an epic quest full of danger and trials. Main characer Nizhoni, a 7th grader who wants to be special, finds herself able to sense monsters — a gift which becomes crucial when her father goes missing.

Accompanied by younger brother Mac and best friend Davery, these three tweens must navigate the American Southwest
actual rating: 3.5

I've been really enjoying all these great books from the Riordan Presents imprint and this one is no exception. It was a fun action-packed book with a lot of cool introductory information about Native American mythology. I am not as familiar with this kind of mythology as some others so I feel like there were definitely a few things that went over my head but I'm sure everything will be expanded on in future books and it was still a quick and enjoyable read. I'll definitely be
Pretty sure Rebecca Roanhorse could do a magical retelling of the phone book, and I would give it five stars.... she is too powerful and must be nerfed.


Race to the Sun is the adventure novel of my heart: Nizhoni sees monsters. When her dad is kidnapped by one posing as his new boss, Nizhoni, her brother, and her best friend must journey into the Dinétah--Navajo lands--and complete a heroes' quest of epic proportions to get Spider Woman's help and make it to the house of the Sun. But
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really fun story that also opened up a whole new world of Navajo mythology to me. I liked all the main characters, especially Nizhoni. I only wish the book was longer because the finale was quite rushed, in my opinion. But I still enjoyed this novel a lot!
Paige Green
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher and Netgalley. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Race to the Sun

Author: Rebecca Roanhorse

Book Series: Standalone so far

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: Native American main and side characters and lore.

Publication Date: January 14, 2020

Genre: MG Fantasy

Recommended Age: 12+ (some violence, some slightly scary moments)

Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents

Pages: 320

Amazon Link

Synopsis: Lately, seventh grader Nizhoni Begay has been able to detect monsters,
This was fun, and though I kept thinking as I was reading that Nizhoni Begay was was an ancestor of Maggie Hoskie (of Rebecsa Roanhorse's The Sixth World series) because of her monster-related abilities.
Nizhoni Begay wants to be famous and adored, to make up for her father's neglect, which is probably due to his feelings about her missing mother. Nizhoni's dearest wish is to be a hero. Her life takes a left turn when she sees a monster one day in the stands at her basketball game, and soon after
Katie Reus
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audible-listen
I listened to this first because I wanted to see if it was too mature for my kid and ended up loving it. Great listen/read!
Michelle Kenneth -
Excellent work. I absolutely loved this story. This is another story of gods and demigods in the Rick Riordan Presents universe, but written by Rebecca Roanhorse, who covers the Navajo gods.

I love reading stories about the Navajo gods. This is the second book I've read this year that incorporates present day with the stories of the ancient Navajo gods. When I was a kid, the books I read about our Native Americans were written by...not Navajo people. I think it is better to learn about their ways
Jan 20, 2020 marked it as xx-dnf-skim-reference
Debbie Reese gives this an evaluation of Not Recommended.

She posted an article by Michael Thompson on her website here:

Btw, they're not keen on Trail of Lightning, either, unfortunately.
Just goes to show that "Own Voices" is not a sufficient & simple basis for evaluation, that we need to consider other metrics.
Dejanira Dawn
Jun 23, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: mythology
Um the Hero Twins?!? YES please!!! (I was thinking this was Mayan mythology but The Storm Runner is coming out so it can't be. ) But Native American mythology??! That has Hero Twins?? NEED
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Riordan Presents books have just been so good.

I mean I haven’t gotten to all of them yet, but the ones I have read? So good. Nizhóní’s story is no exception. It’s got a bit of humor to go with the monsters. The stories and figures in this book were so interesting. I want to go find out more about everything right now. It’s 2 AM when I’m writing this, so maybe tomorrow would be a better idea?

This book follows primarily Nizhóní but along with her on her journey to save the world are her best
In brief: Nizhoni can see monsters. One of them is her dad’s new boss, but no one believes her. Then he kidnaps her dad and she, her brother, and her best friend must travel across the Navajo reservation to find the Holy People who can help save her dad and stop the monsters for good.

Full disclosure: This was a reading copy I received through work, with the expectation that I’d like it enough to recommend the book on release, and with the knowledge that I liked Roanhorse’s books to begin with.

Rameela (Star)
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Initial thoughts: my only complaint is that it ended too soon this was so fun!


I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who is a fan of ownvoices, learning new mythology, wants an adventure worthy of making a youtube channel for, talking…frogs?, and daughters who will do anything to save their father. If you like hot cheetos, prophecies told in song, a chosen one, friendship and family, and realizing that you don’t need to be anyone other than yourself, then this book is
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nizhoni Begay is a heroine you won't soon forget! In the latest Rick Riordan presents, we delve into Native American mythology with bombastic glee as Nizhoni learns about her heritage and what it takes to become a hero. With a colorful cast of side characters-Mr. Yazzie the horned toad being a personal favorite- it's a race to the sun god for mythical weapons so Nizhoni and co can free her father from a tyrannical monster (who also happens to be an oil baron).
Kristina Marie
Feb 10, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2020
1.5 Race to the Sun is pretty much a standard Rick Riordan book. The main difference is that it’s less detailed and scaled down so that the whole adventure fits into one book instead of three.

I like reading Riordan’s books and love that he has a series where underrepresented cultures get to tell their stories in a Riordan-style way. Sounded like a win-win until Rebecca Roanhorse (Ohkay Owingeh) was chosen to write a Diné story. Why would they choose a non-Diné to tell the Diné story? Or why didn
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rick Riordan Presents is a middle-grade series with the express purpose of promoting "great voices from cultures that have been marginalized or erased by mainstream culture" and allowing children and youth to find representation in literature. For US readers, perhaps no perspective is more needed in fiction than the Native American one. Many readers of adult dystopian fantasy already know Rebecca Roanhorse, the Campbell (now Astounding), Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Award-winning author of largely ...more
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At times heartwarming and at others heartbreaking. Kids who love fantasy and super heroes will definitely want to read this book from Rick Riordan presents. Nizhoni is twelve and she is starting to see monsters. When her dad's new boss is one of them, the action begins. Nizhoni, her brother Mac, and her best friend Davery escape Albuquerque on a train and begin their quest to visit the Spider Woman, stock up on weapons, and get to the house of the sun. Filled with Navajo legends and vocabulary ...more
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Race to the Sun is another series in the Rick Riordan Presents imprint. I was really excited when I saw that Rebecca Roanhorse was writing for this imprint. I love her Sixth World series and I'm happy to see another Native American mythology represented in this imprint. Like all of the RR Presents books, it's written for a middle grade audience and does wonderful job of introducing the reader to the chosen mythology, while also staying grounded in its cultural place today. Nizhoni faces dynamic ...more
Jan 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I like to keep my eye out for Rick Riordan Presents novels, so when I saw this one was finally out I immediately got it from the library. I have very little knowledge on Native American stories, culture, traditions, or anything, so I was looking forward to seeing what this presented.

It's a pretty quick read-- the book barely clocks in at 300 pages-- and the chapters were pretty short, so it's ideal for the more reluctant leader. I also like that the kids did feel and talk like kids. There was
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Rick Riordan Presents books are still killing it! I read Roanhorse's adult sci-fi book and found it a bit too gritty for my personal tastes, but this middle-grade story was just right for my delicate sensibilities. Nizhoni is a great narrator and this was a really fun quest with a very satisfying conclusion, though still setting itself up for a sequel (that I can't wait to read)!
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm all about that #OwnVoices so this story makes me happy.
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I tend to read a fair amount of middle-grade titles, and it's because they can be so much more creative than some adult writing. Having said that - it's not uncommon for writers who do primarily adult content to struggle with middle-grade. It's a very different thing, I would imagine, writing for an adult audience, and sometimes that difficulty comes through when it feels like the writing is talking down to the kids. So I was a little nervous to read Rebecca Roanhorse's first MG novel. However - ...more
Miranda RYan
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Seventh-grader Nizhoni Begay strives to carve out space where she can shine. She thought by going to an All Native school that she would finally find a place where she fit in. Sadly, this was not the case. One awful night, she notices that her dad’s new boss is not what he seems. Nizhoni must go on a heroic adventure to save the world. Through this journey, Nizhoni learns that she is important to her Navajo people and has a vital role to play.

I loved this story and cannot wait to pick up a copy
I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Lately, Navajo middle schooler Nizhoni Begay has been seeing monsters everywhere. She knows that they are monsters, but voices her concerns to only her younger brother, Mac, for fear of being mocked or not believed. But when the latest monster shows up at her basketball game--and turns out to actually be her dad's new boss--she knows something big is about to happen. At least, that's what Mr. Yazzie (her stuffed
4.5 stars

This is my third book by Rebecca Roanhorse and I thoroughly enjoyed it! It is targeted for a younger age group than her books in the 6th World series, but her wonderful storytelling style comes through and you end up learning a lot about the mythology of the Dine people along the way. The story moves along at a brisk pace and never gets boring. The story is narrated by Nizhoni Begay, a seventh grade girl who discovers who she really is as she encounters trial after trial. You can see
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Rebecca Roanhorse is a Nebula and Hugo Award-winning speculative fiction writer and the recipient of the 2018 Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Her short fiction has also been a finalist for the Sturgeon, Locus and World Fantasy awards. Her novel Trail of Lightning was selected as an Amazon, B&N, Library Journal, and NRP Best Books of 2018, among others, and is a 2019 Nebula Finalist.

“Yes,” Mr. Yazzie explains. “There are four—one for each of the cardinal directions: east, south, west, and north. They were set in place by the Diyin Dine’é and equipped with a guardian and a herald to care for the land. They surround the ancestral home of the Diné people, and each represents a powerful part of Navajo history and culture.” “Four mountains bind you” 0 likes
“Yá’át’ééh,” I say, using my formal voice. “My name is Nizhoni Begay. My mother’s clan is Towering House. My father’s clan is Bitter Water. My maternal grandfather’s clan is the Mud People clan, and my paternal grandfather’s clan is the Crystal Rock people.” 0 likes
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