Oh my heart. I was gifted this book at my book club Christmas party, knowing nothing about it, I hadn’t even heard of it. The friend who gifted it said I would love it…and she was 100% right. Not only did I adore it, I am now encouraging everyone I know to read it. I highly recommend this book.
Five years ago, Coyote Sunrise’s mother and sisters were killed in a car crash. Since then, she and her father have been living in a rehabbed old school bus, traveling wherever and whenever they want. When Coyote finds out that the park near her home is being demolished (and the hidden box her family buried there along with it), she must figure out a way to trick her dad into returning home, something he has said he never wants to do. Along the way they encounter people who are just as lost as them and who are searching for their own happiness.
Things I Liked:
This is a middle grade book written in such smart way that it’s accessible to all ages but at the same time not “dumbed” down for its intended audience. The lessons included in this book aren’t just for kids and I found myself thinking about my own life several times while reading. The relationship between Coyote and Rodeo was touching and I found Rodeo to be a very interesting character, even when I wanted to scream at him for not seeing how his actions were hurting Coyote. As an adult reading this book, it was clear the mistakes that each character was making but I found that detail made the story more realistic. These aren’t perfect people and I loved that. I enjoyed every character Coyote and Rodeo encountered and liked how each had their own unique voice and story to tell while always adding to the overall adventure.
Things I didn’t Like:
If I had any issue with this book, it’s the lack of consequences for actions that no one would get away with in the real world. However, as this is a book intended for kids, I can see why the author made the decisions he did. I just wish there had been a bit more realism to that aspect of the story.
I truly believe everyone should read this book, regardless of age. The lessons of acceptance, tolerance, dealing with grief, overcoming tragedy, and loving yourself and others are universal. The characters almost leap off the page and the story is well-written. I cannot recommend this book enough.
“Maybe we’re all a little broken. Maybe we’re all a little fragile. Maybe that’s why we need each other so much.”
Author: Dan Gemeinhart
Published: January 8, 2019
Rating: 5 Stars