The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart

Published by Henry Holt and Co.

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Summary:  Ever since her mother and two sisters were killed in a car accident, Coyote and her father, Rodeo, have been traveling around the U.S. in an old school bus.  Rodeo declares anything that would remind them of their past a “no-go”, but when Coyote hears from her grandmother that a park near her old home is being destroyed, she is determined to go back there.  It turns out that, shortly before the accident, Coyote, her mom, and her sisters buried a memory box in the park. Coyote has to figure out a way to get Rodeo back to their hometown without revealing her motivation for doing so.  As they travel from Florida to Washington, they pick up an interesting assortment of people and animals who make the trip with them and become part of Coyote’s conspiracy to get back home. As they slowly make their way, Rodeo and Coyote have to both finally face the tragedy that befell their family and start to come to terms with their grief.  352 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  A fun cast of characters and a comedy of errors road trip make this an engaging story that also tugs on the heartstrings.  I have seen this mentioned on a few Newbery lists.

Cons:  The journey was fun, but once Coyote got back home, the search for the memory box got bogged down in some pretty mawkish sentimentality, something I though marred two other Gemeinhart books I’ve read, The Honest Truth and Good Dog.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.

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