I wanted to write a book that made readers feel like they’re on their own adventure. I also want kids to see that families can be lots of different things and that we can’t always know what’s going to happen when we first meet people.
Braided with songs and poetry, this story follows Keda’s journey to know herself. With profound final lines and yes-that’s-exactly-what-it’s-like images, the prose poem chapters shine individually and collectively. Much in Keda’s life is complicated, so she reaches for songs, gropes for her heritage, and digs for inner resources to cope. A few friends brighten her life, but when it comes to truly managing an unstable mother, a mostly-absent father, and a big sister who is less fun and also less nurturing than she used to be, Keda is on her own. Her love of Billie Holiday and the intuitional grasp she has of the Blues give her something to hold on to, but when her summer goes from bad to worse, Keda needs courage. Readers will cheer her on as she finds the strength to speak her own truth.
Compelling and charming! When Cat and her brother get dropped for three weeks at their OTHER grandparents’ house — the ones they’ve never even met! — both of them grow in ways they couldn’t have predicted.
On a North Carolina island, Cat learns some big things: 1) how to fish 2) how to get silent-type Grandpa to talk 3) how to see a bully for more than his meanness 4) how to let her special needs brother fend for himself a little 5) how to eat hushpuppies!
McDunn writes with on-point honesty and a knack for capturing real kid thoughts. The mom-written books within the book add another lens through which both readers and the characters themselves can see the family dynamics. Packed with human insight and tenderness, this book is sure to be a favorite of anyone who loves to see a family knit itself back together, while enjoying bike rides, mini-golf, and hot chocolate!
When I found out that I would be on a panel with author Dan Gemeinhart, I thought, “Who is this guy?” I ordered his book and found out!
This guy is an author who tells a good story with sensitivity and artistry. I thought I would like his novel because I have homeschooled, have a cat, and once spent a couple of years in a semi-nomadic state — just like the father and daughter in this book. BUT, I didn’t expect that Coyote’s tale would be told with such emotional honesty. Gemeinhart walks right up to hard truths and writes them down. And the best part? Coyote comes across as a real kid with a funny, smart voice, and the resourcefulness to reach her goals.
If you’re in the mood for a road trip and the chance to meet a crew of inspiring misfits with troubles of their own, this book will be a joy. If you’ve ever noticed that kids and parents sometimes switch roles and have trouble switching back, you’ll recognize the crux of Coyote’s problem — how to protect people she loves from the pain of the past while also coming to terms with it. If you’ve ever wondered how to live in a school bus, you’ll learn that, too!
A summer in the arctic isn’t just exotic, it’s dangerous. For Talia, it’s also the place where she will learn more about herself than she expected. Somewhere between making wishes and making a friend, between mourning her mother’s death and mourning her father’s absence, between bird-watching and whale-searching, Talia starts to heal. Written in an immersive, literary style, this book gives glimpses of Inuit life, the arctic spring, and a girl whose life appears frozen, but is about to flow.