The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise


A picture of the cover art for Coyote Sunrise on my e-reader next to some of my Pinguin Classics I can't bring myself to share.

I was overjoyed with the September Pick for Stars for Buttons. The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise came with high expectations, raved reviews, a captivating cover image, and a promise of both cat and book love.

I did not disappoint.

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 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.

My e-reader, opened to Coyote Sunrise, next to my Pinguin Classics and a fake plant I found. I'm getting better at keeping plants alive, but shouldn't be trusted yet.

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”.

If you’ve ever dreamed of road tripping across the US, the imagery of this book will inspire and excite you and your next trip.

The found family trope weaves throughout the whole book, and it even starts the book. Ivan is a cat, smuggled onto the bus and becomes the symbol of Coyote’s loneliness awareness. Ivan is a dream cat, doesn’t make noises, a great snuggler, resident of bookshelves, oh and an empath to boot.

The diverse characters that catch a ride on Rodeo’s school bus each have to answer three questions:

  1. What is your favorite book?
  2. Where is your favorite place?
  3. What is your favorite sandwich?

There’s a lot to know about a person in those three answers.

Coyote, though still young, is quite perceptive and cunning. She’s humble, kind, and gives others the benefit of the doubt. She’s a great role model for your young reader. This story will charm you, then make you cry. So. Many. Tears.


I wasn’t won over completely.

The father in this story suffers intense grief and doesn’t quite know how to parent or comfort his daughter while also suffering himself. As the reader, I did not root for Rodeo (Coyote’s father) until the very end of this story. He was definitely the villain, in a subtle way. I, however, think the author did a great job of writing compassion for this struggling single parent who lacks the courage to confront his loss, and he eventually learns to treasure what he still has.

A few notes:

I suggest reading this book with your young reader. The tone is quite light, but characters in this book battle several issues, such as abuse, death of family, police brutality, teen runaway, racial discrimintation

Fair warning: I cried happy and sad tears throughout the entirety of this story.

The Stars for Buttons crew granted Coyote’s journey home a happy 5 stars. It’s a real winner.

If this book caught your interest and you too are a huge fan of middle grade reads, I’d like to invite you to join our Stars for Buttons book club. We’d love to have ya!

You probably have questions... you can learn more about us and the Stars for Buttons book club here.

Also, this is a list of all the books we’ve read together this year. And if found family tropes are your jam, I invite you to read this one, a sweet story about an orphan with a talent for puzzles who learns to trust her gut.

May you find your favorite place and never leave,