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Saturday, January 5, 2019

Book Review: Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart

Coyote and her dad are driving all around the country in a converted school bus. She's home schooled, and they see the whole US. But there's one place her dad won't take her--home to Seattle. See, a few years ago Coyote's mom and two sisters all died in a terrible car accident. Coyote was supposed to be in the car that day too. And it's just been way too much to deal with. So they don't. They drive around to cool places, Coyote reads, she adopts a kitten named Ivan.

One day she calls her grandmother back home, and gets some bad news. There's a park in their old neighborhood that's going to be torn down for a developer to build something. In that park, a month or so before they died, Coyote and her two sister and their mom buried a memory box. Coyote can't tell her grandmother where exactly it is although she knows she can find it. But that means she has to get her dad to drive back to Washington. And she has just over a week to do it. They're in Florida.

So first she meets a boy her age. He and his mom are trying to travel to St. Louis where his aunt has a better job for his mom but their car broke down, so she offers them a ride. That will get her halfway home. Then she figures out they need another driver to spell her dad so she overhears a man in a diner talking about needing to get out west and she offers him a ride too. Eventually they pick up a few other people, and this motley crew of strangers becomes friends.

But will Coyote get to Washington in time? Will she and her dad finally deal with the grief they've been running away from? Will she ever have stability in her life?

This was a wonderful story about friendship, about family, about how family can be the people we surround ourselves with, about trust and love, and ultimately about dealing with grief. It's a very positive fun road trip story, with the grief part only being a bit at the end. It's handled very well and Coyote is a wonderful girl who is having an unusual life but who you just know will turn out great one day.


This review is a part of Kid Konnection, hosted by Booking Mama, a collection of children's book-related posts over the weekend.

This book is published by Henry Holt, a division of Macmillan, my employer.

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