Review: Coyote Lost and Found by Dan Gemeinhart

Coyote Lost and Found by Dan Gemeinhart

Coyote Lost and Found
Dan Gemeinhart
Henry Holt & Co.
Published March 5, 2024

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About Coyote Lost and Found

It’s been almost a year since Coyote and her dad left the road behind and settled down in a small Oregon town. . . time spent grieving the loss of her mom and sisters and trying to fit in at school. But just as life is becoming a new version of normal, Coyote discovers a box containing her mom’s ashes. And she thinks she might finally be ready to say goodbye.

So Coyote and her dad gear up for an epic cross-country road trip to scatter the ashes at her mom’s chosen resting place. The only problem? Coyote has no idea where that resting place is—and the secret’s hidden in a book that Coyote mistakenly sold last year, somewhere in the country. Now, it’s up to Coyote to track down the treasured book . . . without her dad ever finding out that it’s lost. It’s time to fire up their trusty bus, Yager, pick up some old friends, discover some new ones, and hit the road on another unforgettable adventure.

Coyote Lost and Found on Goodreads

My Review

I have a friend who loves voicey middle grade with a southern feel to it, and this book immediately made me think of her. Coyote is an absolute wonder. She’s unconventional and a little wild, kind of a loner, and has such a huge heart. I really like Rodeo, her dad, as well. He’s got a very hippy sensibility and definitely wouldn’t be everyone’s pick for best dad, but his temperament really works with Coyote, and he works really hard to make sure she has what she needs.

This is a book about grief. It’s a book about saying goodbye to someone you’ve already lost, and how sometimes grief is a journey, and on that journey, you have to say goodbye more than once. Some of the scenes in which Coyote and her dad talk about or around their losses were so poignant. I cried more than once.

It’s also a story set during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, so it has an underlying uncertainty and loneliness to it. It doesn’t have to do with the pandemic at all, really, but the shutdowns and fears about the virus impacted different characters and scenes in ways that made me think.

The only thing I kept waiting for and felt like was missing from the story is more information about Coyote’s sisters. She lost her mom and two sisters in a car accident long before this book (and another about Coyote and her dad) takes place. While this book focused on the loss of her mom, I felt like it was a little odd that she never named her sisters or had any memories of them or longing for them specifically. I haven’t yet read COYOTE SUNRISE, so it’s possible her relationships with them are explained more fully in the other book.

On the whole, I loved Coyote’s powerful voice and the sweet and silly rituals she shares with her dad and the lucky people they bring into their lives. I can definitely see fans of Kate DiCamillo’s contemporary novels or fans of Gillian McDunn loving this book.

Coyote Lost and Found on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.

Coyote’s best friend is Latine American. Another character is Asian American.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
See violent content.

Romance/Sexual Content
Coyote gets uncomfortable when she realizes her dad may have romantic feelings for a neighbor.

Spiritual Content

Violent Content
A white clerk threatens an Asian American customer, holding up a baseball bat and saying racist things.

Drug Content

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of COYOTE LOST AND FOUND in exchange for my honest review. All opinions my own.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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