Cover image for The remarkable journey of Coyote Sunrise
The remarkable journey of Coyote Sunrise
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2019.
Physical Description:
344 pages ; 22 cm
Twelve-year-old Coyote and her father rush to Poplin Springs, Washington, in their old school bus save a memory box buried in a park that will soon be demolished.


Material Type
Call Number
Children's Book Fiction Gemei
Children's Book Fiction Gemei
Children's Book Fiction Gemei
Children's Book GEMEI

On Order



Five years.That's how long twelve-year-old Coyote and her dad, River, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation.It's also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters.Coyote hasn't been home in all that time, but when she learns that the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished--the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box--she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state . . . without him realizing it.On the way, they'll pick up an eclectic group of folks. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all, but that with friends, she just might be able to turn her 'once upon a time' into a 'happily ever after.'

Author Notes

Dan Gemeinhart is a former elementary teacher-librarian and lifelong book nerd. He lives with his wife and three daughters in a small town in Washington state. He's the author of some other books, too: The Honest Truth, Some Kind of Courage, Scar Island, and Good Dog. If he ever meets you, he'd love to talk about books with

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this poignant, action-packed adventure, 12-year-old Coyote must hoodwink her father, Rodeo, into returning home to Washington State after years of itinerant life on a school bus. A tragic car accident killed Coyote's mother and sisters five years before, compelling Rodeo and Coyote to adopt new names and traverse the country telling escapist stories, until Coyote learns from her grandmother that the neighborhood park where she and her mother and sisters buried a precious memory box faces imminent demolition. Gemeinhart (Good Dog) layers grief and upended caretaking into the father-daughter relationship, which heightens as Coyote schemes to get back home from Florida in just a few days to dig up the box-to help, she recruits and befriends a memorable and motley crew of travelers. The narrative leaves unanswered questions about the duo's time on the road (Coyote's schooling, for example), but sincere friendships, inventive obstacles, and emotional depth propel the cross-country trip as the winning protagonist stakes a claim for her future by reclaiming the past. Ages 9-12. Agents: Pam Victorio and Bob Diforio, D4EO Literary Agency. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Twelve-year-old Coyote and her father, Rodeo, travel the United States in a retrofitted school bus, never looking back, never putting down roots. Readers gradually learn their backstory: five years earlier Coyotes mother and two sisters were killed, and, unable to deal with this loss, Rodeo refuses to speak their names or talk about their familys former life. Making her own exception to this rule, Coyote calls her grandmother every Sunday, which is how she learns that a park in her old neighborhood, where she and her mother and sisters once buried a memory box, is to be demolished. That news changes Coyotes complacency: she must retrieve that box, the only tangible item she has from her previous life, but without letting Rodeo know thats why she wants to travel all the way from Florida to Washington State. Her plan? Confess a hankering for the perfect pork chop sandwich in Montana and, once there, figure out the rest. Along the way, Coyote and Rodeo pick up a diverse group of individuals, each a fully developed character searching for a dream. Every mile of the road trip inexorably brings Coyote closer to confronting her past, and its inevitable sadness, but Gemeinhart avoids any sense of mawkishness. He tempers Coyotes grief with her triumphant growth from a girl whose sole purpose is keeping her father on an even keel to one who realizes that she alone must find, and even fight for, her own happiness. betty carter January/February 2019 p 90(c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* For the past five years, 12-year-old Coyote Sunrise and her father, Rodeo, have traveled all over the U.S. on a retired school bus converted into a home on wheels. Once upon a time, they lived in Washington State, but when her mother and two sisters died in an automobile accident, her father bought the bus, changed their names, and took off, determined to put painful memories behind them. But when Coyote learns that her former neighborhood park, where she and her mother and sisters buried a memory box, is about to be demolished, she knows she has to get back there and retrieve it. Knowing that a return to their old home is what Rodeo would call a ""no-go,"" Coyote plots a way to get where she needs to go. Along the way, they pick up an assortment of passengers who become involved with Coyote's quest. Narrator Coyote is legendary: wise, thoughtful, and perceptive, she is an astute observer of human nature. Her voice is frank, authentic, and fresh as she shares her insights with her audience, whether the reader or another character. The narrative is beautifully paced and ranges easily from comic to bittersweet, and the other well-rounded characters also shine as they become part of Coyote's circle. Coyote is well-adjusted and, like her journey, refreshingly remarkable.--Donna Scanlon Copyright 2018 Booklist

New York Review of Books Review

these days, parents like to think of themselves as responsible for every aspect of their children's happiness and well-being. But often overlooked in this 21st-century conception of parent/child dynamics is the powerful sense of responsibility children feel for adults. A desire to protect their elders is particularly strong during the tween years, when the darkness and complexity of the world come into focus, but the magical thinking of childhood still offers the comfort of solutions. These four middlegrade novels capture something moving and seemingly eternal: When trouble strikes the grown-ups around them, children instinctively put themselves on the emotional front lines. A prime example is Riley James, the 11year-old narrator of Greg Howard's the WHISPERS (Putnam, 226 pp., $16.99; ages 10 and up). After his mother goes missing, Riley sets out to find the magical voices from a local legend that he believes can help him bring her back. A self-proclaimed "mama's boy... without his mama," Riley struggles with bed-wetting plus another "condition" - being attracted to boys - that some in his small, Christian town consider cause for shame. Riley heads into the woods to find the Whispers, accompanied by a "Stand by Me"-like band of misfits including the overweight Gary, his only friend; Gary's tag-along little brother, Carl; and the "Redneck Superhero" Dylan Mathews, an older boy whose sympathy (or perhaps empathy) for Riley's situation makes him a winsome champion. "The Whispers" does not turn out to be the fable it at first seems, but Howard pulls off the trick of making Riley's real quest even more heart-wrenching than the fantasy that drives it. This taut, moving tale delves beyond loss into issues of sexuality, conformity and self-acceptance. Riley's relationship with his missing mother, whom we see in flashbacks teaching him new vocabulary words, is particularly well drawn. "Use it in a sentence, Button," she tells him, encouraging Riley to redefine his world through language - a lesson he takes to heart after she goes missing. "The Whispers" is a masterful exploration into the power of storytelling but also its dangers, including self-denial and escapism. escapism is the guiding philosophy of Rodeo and his 12-year-old daughter, Coyote, the titular heroine of Dan Gemeinhart's THE REMARKABLE JOURNEY OF COYOTE SUNRISE (Holt, 352 pp" $16.99; ages 9 to 12). Since the death of Coyote's mother and sisters five years earlier, the pair have traveled around the country in an old school bus, calling each other by hippie road names and following their hankerings for taco trucks or sandwiches. But for all his whimsy and free-spiritedness, Rodeo has a few "no-go's," as he calls them, including ever returning to their hometown, Poplin Springs, Wash. Coyote is protective of her father and accepts their life of wandering, hiding her loneliness and grief behind bravado. But when she learns that developers are tearing up the local park where her mother and sisters buried a memory box, she enlists an eclectic group of fellow travelers to trick Rodeo into driving her there. Coyote's bold, engaging voice pops off the page and propels this road-trip novel through a series of charming, if unlikely, adventures. Some of the secondary characters serve the plot a little too neatly, but there are exceptions, like the boy escaping domestic violence who becomes Coyote's protector and friend. Gemeinhart infuses the story with moments of lyrical writing and folksy wisdom served up with a dollop of girl power. Coyote's determination to face reality rather than run from it ultimately allows her to heal not just herself but her father. the protagonist of Brenda Woods's the UNSUNG HERO OF BIRDSONG, U.S.A. (Nancy Paulsen, 194 pp., $16.99; ages 10 and up) also protects a cherished adult by confronting reality, in this case the reality of racism in his segregated postwar Southern town. After Meriwether Hunter, an unemployed African-American mechanic and World War II veteran, saves Gabriel Haberlin's life, the 12-year-old tries to return the favor by getting him a job at his father's garage. But as his friendship with Meriwether deepens, Gabriel starts to see the casual racism of friends and family in a new light, and after Meriwether confronts a bigoted fellow employee at the garage, Gabriel must save his savior from a potentially violent end. Woods casts a much needed spotlight on the history of African-American troops in World War II, including the all-black 761st Tank Battalion, which took part in the Battle of the Bulge. Meriwether embodies the dignity and frustration of these men who fought for their country overseas only to return home to prejudice and oppression, especially in the Jim Crow-era South. An underdeveloped villain and a hard-toswallow turn of events in the crucial scene threaten to weaken this important story. But Woods regains control with a realistic ending that incorporates the Great Migration and shows the limits of Gabriel's power to protect his friend. genesis Anderson, the heroine of Alicia D. Williams's stunning debut novel, geneSIS BEGINS AGAIN (Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum, 382 pp., $17.99; ages 9 to 13), is another character who grapples with the legacy of race in America and the challenge of righting adult wrongs. Thirteen-year-old Genesis is tired of her family being constantly evicted, so when her alcoholic father moves them out of Detroit to a middleclass home in the suburbs and promises to start attending Alcoholics Anonymous, she's cautiously hopeful life will change. But Genesis and her family are still haunted by the past - including her darkskinned father's self-loathing and grief over a childhood tragedy and the prejudice of her light-skinned mother's family, who use "the paper bag test" to judge acceptable skin color (a test Genesis herself doesn't pass). When her father starts drinking again, eviction notices appear, and her parents' marriage falters, Genesis tries to fix her family by changing herself; by lightening her skin and straightening her hair, she hopes to make her family, and especially her father, proud of her - and by extension, themselves. In "Genesis Begins Again," Williams explores racism within the black community, creating a fully realized family with a history of complex relationships to one another, and to their own skin colors. The suburban school where Genesis finds herself navigating a diverse cast of friends and foes is no less vivid; a music teacher who introduces Genesis to blues greats like Billie Holiday and inspires her to sing in the school talent show is particularly memorable. But the standout voice in this tender and empowering novel - reminiscent of Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye," but appropriate for a much younger audience - belongs to Genesis herself, as she discovers a truth that we adults would do well to remember: Growing up isn't just about taking responsibility for the happiness and well-being of others. It's also about learning what you can and should fix, and what you cannot. As Genesis discovers, there is no true reinvention without self-acceptance. Katherine marsh's most recent middle-grade novel is "Nowhere Boy," a 2018 Times Children's Notable Book.