By Alyson Low of the Fayetteville Public Library
Coyote Sunrise is spunky, friendly, oftentimes laugh-out-loud funny and sometimes heartbreakingly heartbroken. She and her dad Rodeo live in a converted school bus, driving cross-country and choosing their next destination for reasons as simple as a yummy sandwich they had the last time they drove through a particular town.
Their wandering ways seem carefree, but there’s a poignant explanation for always being on the move, and it will eventually bring them back home. They’re accompanied by a small band of passengers who are on their own journeys – on the road and in life. Each member of the motley crew will help the others in finding their way – talk about the kindness of strangers!
Coyote’s aplomb is delightful. She’s fearless down to her core, but that core is something else entirely – vulnerable and tender. Coyote and Rodeo’s lifestyle is an entertaining curiosity thanks to Gemeinhart’s vivid narrative, but as the layers of their quirky existence are pulled back, the reader comes to understand the profound motivation they have for living the way they do. The story is a great mix of whimsical ups and realistic downs, and the entire cast of characters is endearing.
This is a perfect book for the plucky gal in your family to read while on a summertime road trip.
And if the ride is going to be a pretty long one, I’d also recommend Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo and Sweeping Up the Heart by Kevin Henkes, two more novels with young female protagonists who are strong at heart.
Note from the mamas: Alyson recently started a blog featuring new juvenile non-fiction books. She writes about a new book every week and nearly every post has activity suggestions that can be done in a classroom, in a home schooling context or simply as a family project!