In The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart, twelve-year-old Coyote Sunrise and her dad wander America in their retrofitted school bus, with no plans, no schedule. Well, there is one scheduled item–a weekly call to Coyote’s grandma. In a call to Coyote in Florida, Grandma casually tells her that the park back home is going to be dug up for development in four days.
This sets the journey in motion. Coyote realizes she has to be there to rescue a time capsule. This is a box of letters and drawings put in the ground in the park five years ago, just before her mom and two sisters were killed in an accident.
But Coyote knows her dad, fleeing grief, will never agree to go back home to Poplin Springs, Washington. So how can she get him to drive there?
This tale starts with a manipulative kid getting her dad to adopt a kitten. She’s still manipulative as she engineers the unforgettable trip home. But that does change, I’m happy to report.
On the journey, the school bus picks up several quirky passengers, including a goat! These personalities add spice to the story. Both Coyote and her dad learn to deal with their grief, creating an emotionally satisfying journey for the reader.
I’ll give it four stars: ****