Author: J.S Kapchinske
Title: Coyote Summer
Genre: YA, Drama
First Published: March 17th, 2013
Where I Got It: Given to me by the author to review for my honest opinion.
“Heath always looked forward to summer visits at Grandpa’s—long days in the wild Rocky Mountains, fishing with Dad on the Piedra River, and nights sleeping on the screened-in porch. Plus this summer, Dad promised to finally tell him the secret about old Mrs. Baylis—a mysterious Native American woman living down the dusty dirt road… But now, after Dad’s accident, it can never happen that way. Heath and his mother go to Grandpa’s, but only to spread Dad’s ashes in the river.
In the beginning, Heath feels like he’s been swallowed by the raging Piedra, held upside down in some dark and unforgiving eddy. But one day, wandering along the riverbank, he meets Annie, a wild-eyed tomboy who shows him a hidden cave with a litter of orphaned coyote pups. Together they discover the cave holds another secret—one that might help them figure out the mystery of old Mrs. Baylis. During that summer in the mountains, Heath comes to realize there is both beauty and ugliness in the world, sometimes all tangled together. By opening himself up to Annie and the coyotes, he rediscovers hope and joy in this big, beautiful, mixed-up world.”
This book was written for Middle School level readers and after reading this I really think that kids should read this in their Middle School reading/English classes. For more advanced readers, this will be a quick and simple read. Not only is the story really good, but also, all the life lessons embedded within the text were good too. I liked it.
This story is not only about Heath’s moving on from his father’s death, but it is a story that tells us that bad things may and will happen, but you have to move on. You need to move on and be happy…but never forget the past. The world can be an ugly place, but with the help of those around you and your own inner strength there is nothing that can defeat you.
I’m not sure what else to say about this, because I don’t want to spoil anything. *ponders*
I wished that the author had dived more into the mysterious old Mrs. Baylis and her story. I know they give some sort of “resolution”, but I feel like it rushed and something was…missing and things didn’t add up right. Along with the mystery of old Mrs. Baylis, there were some other minor strings left hanging in the wind. Yes, they were minor, but I HATE when everything isn’t concluded and tied up in the end. This ties in with the ending…the author upset me, because I really wanted an epilogue and 100% resolution to everyone’s story. I know…I know…she left to the reader’s imagination, but yeah…I like knowing.
In the end, this was a really good read. The lack of resolution and some loose ties annoyed me, but I did enjoy this. If I were to teach a Middle School English/reading class, I would have them read this. Not only is it a good story, but it has great themes and lessons to be learned. I think I would like to check out more of this author’s stuff, he certainly has GREAT potential. I would recommend this to those that love YA books or for those looking for a nice feel-good book about life lessons. In the end, I’ll give this four stars.
Favorite Character(s): Annie, Grandpa (you’ll see why later on in the text), and of course those adorable pups.
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Gus (bastard)
Carole owner of caroleraesramblings.com