Seventeen-year-old Jet Black is a ninja. There’s only one problem — she doesn’t know it.
Jet has never lived a so-called normal life. Raised by her single Japanese mother on a Navajo reservation in the Southwest, Jet’s life was a constant litany of mysterious physical and mental training. For as long as Jet can remember, every Saturday night she and her mother played “the game” on the local mountain. But this time, Jet is fighting for her life. And at the end of the night, her mother dies and Jet finds herself an orphan — and in mortal danger.
Fulfilling her mother’s dying wish, Jet flies to Japan to find her grandfather and protect a family treasure hidden in her ancestral land. She’s terrified, but if Jet won’t fight to protect her world, who will? Stalked by bounty hunters and desperately in love with the man who’s been sent to kill her, Jet must be strong enough to protect the treasure, preserve an ancient culture and save a sacred mountain from destruction.
In “Jet Black and the Ninja Wind,” multiple award-winning author, poet and translator team Leza Lowitz and Shogo Oketani make their first foray into young adult fiction with a compulsively readable tale whose teenage heroine must discover if she can put the blade above the heart — or die trying.
Lowitz has written over 17 books, including the Amazon best-selling title, “Yoga Poems.” Her numerous awards include the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Poetry Award, a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award and the U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission Award from the Donald Keene Center at Columbia University. Her writing has appeared in the Huffington Post, Harpers, the New York Times and on NPR’s “The Sound of Writing.”
Oketani is a martial artist, editor, translator and the author of the critically acclaimed middle grade novel “J-Boys: Kazuo’s World,” Tokyo 1965.
Publishers Weekly says, “In this meticulously researched adventure, the husband-and-wife team of Oketani and Lowitz evoke the atmosphere and richness of Japanese culture and mythology. The physical descriptions are lush, the action sequences almost cinematic, and the details are steeped in authenticity.”
School Library Journal comments that the book “is akin to a teen ‘Da Vinci Code’ with ninjas; the high-stakes plot is woven with layers of mythology, intrigue, and romance.”
“Jet Black and the Ninja Wind” recently won the APALA Award in Young Adult Literature.