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The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise: 02/09/19

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart is a middle grade novel about a daughter trying to get her father to confront his grief head on and make it home in time to save a time capsule before a park is razed.

It begins, though, with the bartering of a slushy for a kitten at a rest stop in Oregon. After years of just the two: Rodeo and Coyote traveling and living in a converted school bus, the journey changes. They begin to take on passengers, starting with Ivan the cat, (named for the One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate).

And then in Naples Florida Coyote gets the news about the park and a near impossible deadline. She needs to be back in Washington State to get in little over three days. It is this deadline and near impossible distance that sets the tone of the book and establishes its placement in the road narrative spectrum.

Coyote knows she can't just tell her father outright about the deadline. She knows home is the one place he won't drive the bus. The best she can do is point him (and thus the bus) in the right direction.

The thing about buses in fiction, if they are privately owned, they invariably end up taking on passengers. Passengers change the group dynamic. Passengers become extended family.

Which brings to the road narrative spectrum. The travelers here first explicitly, a family (33): father and daughter. By the end, that family is an extended, metaphorical family of fellow travelers. The destination could be "home" but I'm counting it as uhoria because of the time capsule and for Coyote's memories of her mother and sisters who were killed in an accident years before this story. As it is impossible for Coyote and her father to get back the family they once had, their trip home is a trip to uhoria (or no time) (CC). Finally there is the route taken. Except for one detour, which Coyote mentions in the climax, Rodeo keeps the bus on the interstate (00). Certainly for expediency (even with detours), Coyote would want to direct the various drivers to stay on the most direct route. Put all together, the novel is a 33CC00 or family traveling to uhoria via the interstate.

Five stars

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