Book Title & Alexandra's Review

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart

Middle School


Five years.
That’s how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, crisscrossing 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.”


I’ve read many stories where the main character’s mother is dead, but this is the first one where the mother and two siblings are dead. Losing one family member can really mess someone up, but what happens when someone loses three family members in the blink of an eye? Apparently, in this story anyway, you decide to live on an old school bus, driving aimlessly from state to state, keeping all your pain and sorrow hidden from everyone including yourself. I’m not even going to try to unravel all the emotion conflict going on in Coyote and Rodeo’s heads. I’ve never had anything like this ever happen to me, but I do know that if you bury your feelings deep down, they will eventually explode out of you.


Living on a fixed-up school bus might not be ‘traditional living’ but it does sound fun, in theory anyway.


Coyote and Rodeo have given many hitchhikers a ride over the years. Luckily all the hitchhikers on this adventure are the fun kind of crazy and not the horror movie kind of crazy.


Here are a few of my favorite Coyote Sunrise quotes:


“You’ll probably gonna get in trouble at some point today anyway. You may as well get a Slushy out of it.”

“Hope is a lot like parking lot cigarette butts, always there if you look hard enough.”

“That’s what love is. Caring about what the other person cares about because you care about them. And want them to be happy.”


The only problem I had with this story is that it’s almost too long. I’ve read many books where the story was so amazing I didn’t want it to end. It’s the same with this story but with all the delays and obstacles that get in Coyote’s way, my brain was shouting, “Oh, come on! Give this poor girl a break already!”


This weeks’ Weird but True Fact about School Buses

“National School Bus Glossy Yellow” is the actual name of the paint color used on school buses in the U.S. and Canada.

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