Growing up a freckle-faced redhead living on a Navajo reservation, Nancy has no idea what a normal childhood is. She’s never been to a park, ridden her bike to get an ice cream, or swam in a community pool. She lives in a Navajo hogan, made of railroad ties, with six sides and wooden floors. From sunrise to sunset, her days are filled with mountains of red dirt and the rhythm and culture of the Navajo people—from joyful ceremonial dances and weavers and potters creating their amazing art, to a sometimes violent and darker side. Her parents’ days are focused on their bustling, and sometimes struggling, Trading Post business with a never-ending flow of Native American artists, tourists traveling down Route 66, and the colorful locals of Box Canyon, New Mexico. On some nights, her dad stays at the Trading Post, pulling down the shades, and transforming the tables for slot machines and poker.

As her Navajo nanny, Bertha, tucks her and her brothers in for the night, Nancy lays in bed knowing that the reservation never sleeps. The canyons, and hogans with their flickering lights inside, hold many stories and mysteries that she can’t wait to discover.