The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
Author: Dan Gemeinhart
Published: January 8, 2019
Reviewed By: Cristina
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.
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”.
How would you like to live in a refurbished school bus with your dad, traveling across the country wherever and whenever you feel like it? For Coyote, that’s been her life for the past five years. It’s got some good things about it–Coyote loves the time with her dad, and seeing new places, but she misses home, too. So when she finds out that a very special place in her hometown is due to be paved over for new construction, she hatches a plan to get her dad to take her the one place he’s sworn to never go: Home.
I am a fan of an epic road trip, so this book grabbed me pretty quickly. The relationship between Rodeo and Coyote is one where she is really watching out for and taking care of him. At twelve years of age, she has a maturity above most kids her age. Why is she the grown-up in this situation? Nope. That would be a spoiler, and I want you to read this book. I will say–I may have cried a little towards the end. But I also laughed quite a bit on the journey there. The introduction of Ivan the kitten to Rodeo is pretty great. And with writing like this: “Rodeo, crown prince of freaks, had never looked more freakish. That man is hopeless. He is wild and broken and reckless and beautiful and hanging on by a thread, but it’s a heckuva thread and he’s holding it tight with both hands and his heart.” Well, how could you not want to find out how their road trip ends? Get on the bus. You’ll love the ride!
Addison Cooke and the Treasure of the Incas
Series: Addison Cooke #1
Author: Jonathan W. Stokes
Published: October 11, 2016
Reviewed By: Cristina
Smooth-talking, refined twelve-year-old Addison Cooke loves a grand adventure, especially one that involves using his vast knowledge of history and archaeology, learned from his aunt and uncle, both world-famous researchers. If that adventure includes an expertly-knotted Windsor tie and an Arnold Palmer on the rocks, all the better.
Luckily for Addison, adventure has a way of finding the Cookes. After Addison’s uncle unearths the first ancient Incan clue needed to find a vast trove of lost treasure, he is kidnapped by members of a shadowy organization intent on stealing the riches. An expert in Incan history, Addison’s uncle is the bandits’ key to deciphering the ancient clues and looting the treasure. . . unless Addison and his friends can outsmart the kidnappers and decipher the clues first. So it’s off to Peru (business class, no less), across the Amazon, and all the way to Machu Picchu in a race for riches and history.
Addison Cooke is just your regular almost 13-year-old guy–he’s got an 11-year-old sister, Molly, and loves to read about ancient civilizations. He’s got two best buddies, Raj and Eddie. His aunt and uncle are in charge of the local museum. Pretty easy, normal life–until his uncle and aunt get kidnapped by the Russian mafia because of a treasure clue they discovered! Addison and his friends are off on the adventure of their lives. Will they beat the evil Professor Ragar to the treasure? Can they save Uncle Nigel and Aunt Delia? Between Addison’s smooth talking, Molly’s quick thinking, Raj’s survival skills and Eddie’s ability to speak Spanish, they just might get through this adventure alive.
Confession: I love the movie “Goonies.” I also love Indiana Jones. (Yes, my childhood was in the 1980’s, how did you guess?!) I picked this book up largely because the cover art put me in mind of an Indiana Jones style adventure. I was not disappointed! I enjoyed how the characters were introduced, and allowed to grow throughout the story. The story was full of treasure hunting clues and a few fun clichés, but they only added to the story. This is a story written for young people who have dreams of adventure.
As an adult reading this, I had to suspend disbelief a few times (the airport scene–yeah, the kids aren’t making the flight in real life), but as a 12 year old, I would have loved watching them pull one over on the clueless adults. Who am I kidding? I enjoyed it as an adult. There are also plenty of laughs along the way. The scene where they crash a Cartel wedding? Priceless. I was giggling out loud. I recommend this book for 4th graders and up. And a little bonus? You’re going to learn some ancient Incan history, too. Enjoy![Top]
The 14th Colony
Series: Cotton Malone #11
Author: Steve Berry
Published: April 5, 2016
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
What happens if both the president and vice-president-elect die before taking the oath of office? The answer is far from certain—in fact, what follows would be nothing short of total political chaos.
Shot down over Siberia, ex-Justice Department agent Cotton Malone is forced into a fight for survival against Aleksandr Zorin, a man whose loyalty to the former Soviet Union has festered for decades into an intense hatred of the United States.
Before escaping, Malone learns that Zorin and another ex-KGB officer, this one a sleeper still embedded in the West, are headed overseas to Washington D.C. Noon on January 20th—Inauguration Day—is only hours away. A flaw in the Constitution, and an even more flawed presidential succession act, have opened the door to disaster and Zorin intends to exploit both weaknesses to their fullest.
Armed with a weapon leftover from the Cold War, one long thought to be just a myth, Zorin plans to attack. He’s aided by a shocking secret hidden in the archives of America’s oldest fraternal organization—the Society of Cincinnati—a group that once lent out its military savvy to presidents, including helping to formulate three invasion plans of what was intended to be America’s 14th colony—Canada.
In a race against the clock that starts in the frozen extremes of Russia and ultimately ends at the White House itself, Malone must not only battle Zorin, he must also confront a crippling fear that he’s long denied, but which now jeopardizes everything. Steve Berry’s trademark mix of history and speculation is all here in this provocative new thriller.
My brain hurt after reading this book, in a really good way! I’ll start with my main problem that brought it down a star: That question is in the description. It pretty much gave away the main twist. It was kind of annoying that so much anticipation was built up throughout the story, just for it to be written on the back of the book all along. But I love a good old society. And I love Russians. And I love spies who are so badass that they can do anything. I don’t mind Canada, but I’m ok that we never conquered it.
This book kept me going from page 1. Something is always happening, someone is always being shot at, someone is always in danger. The whole book is what I’d call an experience. While the twist felt a little anticlimactic, the action never ceased. This is perfect for those who like a thriller with a good conspiracy. I really enjoyed it while sitting on the beach!