MMGM: The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart
ABOUT THE BOOK
That's how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, 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 in a car crash.
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 in four days...without him realizing it.
Along the way, they'll pick up a strange crew of misfit travelers. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. And then there's Gladys...
Over the course of thousands of miles, Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all...but that with friends by her side, she just might be able to turn her “once upon a time” into a “happily ever after.”
Coyote and Rodeo (her father) live on the road in an old school bus. The school bus has been adapted to meet their needs with places to sleep, sit, and even cook. And for the most part, Coyote is content with this lifestyle that has been hers for the last five years. That changes though when she gets word from her Grandma that the park where she buried a memory capsule with her mother and sisters is being torn up. Coyote desperately wants to retrieve the capsule but she knows her father has no intention of ever returning to the town that reminds him so much of the accident that took the lives of his wife and daughters. So Coyote sets out to manipulate her father into taking her back. The problem is that she only has a week to get herself and her father from Florida to Washington. Along the way, Coyote and Rodeo pick up some passengers, Lester who wants to get to Boise, ID to see his former girlfriend (or does he?), Salvador and his mother who are fleeing an abusive situation, and Val, whose parents have kicked her out. But everything is set in motion by the arrival of a tiny kitten. But can Coyote continue to lie to her father? Especially the closer they get to their former home?
Gemeinhart has written a book that is all heart. Coyote won me over from the first page as she talks about her adoption of Ivan (the kitten). And the idea of living on the road in a school bus is certainly an intriguing one. The other people that Coyote and Rodeo reach out to along the way also helped make the story as strong as it is. Lester, a good guy who loves music and wants to be in a band, but who also cares for his ex-girlfriend and whom Coyote convinces to join them to help drive the bus. Salvador and his mother, who finally left the his father in search of a new job, and who Coyote invites to join them after they help her out of a jam. This is a tender story of a family trying to find their way and extending kindness to others along the way. I could have done without all the swearing/profanity, but those readers who aren't bothered by that will find themselves unable to resist an endearing Coyote and her determination to achieve her goal.