Orca Book Publishers

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Fiction Ages 12+
Pages: 288
Themes: loss, grief, healing, Australia, romance, Down syndrome, autism spectrum
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 17/Oct/2017
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Since the sudden death of his younger sister, Evie, sixteen-year-old Munro Maddux has been having flashbacks and anger-management issues. He has a constant ache in his right hand. And there's a taunting, barking, biting voice he calls "the Coyote." Munro knows a six-month student exchange will not be the stuff of teenage dreams, but in Brisbane he intends to move beyond his troubled past. It is there, at an assisted living residence called Fair Go Community Village, that Munro discovers the Coyote can be silenced.

Munro volunteers as a "Living Partner" and gets to know the team of residents he is assigned to. The burden Munro carries, however, is not so easily cast aside. When one of the team makes the decision to leave, the Coyote gets a new life. When a second resident is taken away, the specter of trauma and death looms larger than ever.

Will Munro learn how to silence the voice? Or will the Coyote ultimately triumph?

Susin Nielsen, award-winning author of Optimists Die First
"A great tale about friendship and open-mindedness, and accepting differences in others."
Booklist
"Groth's novel is an unassuming look at survivor's guilt. Munro is a likable character, and all the new friends he makes are quirky and well-drawn supporters in his journey to recovery. A welcome addition to realistic-fiction collections."
Amy Mathers Teen Book Award Jury
"Groth offers readers a thoughtful and ultimately uplifting story about grief and healing, as well as difference and acceptance…[He] skillfully illustrates the personal challenges each person faces in dealing with trauma and loss, and reminds readers that while the journey to healing isn't ever easy or straightforward, time and refocused energy can lessen the pain."
Canadian Literature
"Munro's journey is compelling and his voice believable."
Vancouver Sun
"Exceptionally fine; Groth writes with knowledge, compassion, maturity of vision and piercing humour. His characters, created with warmth and depth—from major to minor—are idiosyncratic and lively. It is Groth's deft evocation of Munro's self-aware narration and the voices in his head that powerfully propels the novel."
The Globe and Mail
"[Groth] portrays all his characters as multifaceted and flawed individuals, while still capturing the undeniable transformative power of helping others."
School Library Journal
"Groth's realistic novel is a can't-put-it-down read. Young adults will root for Munro to defeat Coyote and find peace…Readers will find Munro's coping with death fascinating and relevant. Recommended for fans of The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner and Winger by Andrew Smith; this book will fly off the shelves."
BC Bookworld
"In addition to some laugh-out-loud humour, this page-turner has some heart-wrenching moments...It is a richly layered book about love, the tenacity of the human spirit, and our capacity to mend. Darren Groth is a brilliant storyteller...A delight to review."
CM Magazine
"Engrossing, entertaining and uplifting…This book will strike a chord and shift perspectives for many readers while it entertains them. Highly Recommended."
Canadian Children's Book News
"An engrossing, uplifting must-read. An insightfully complex cast of characters, engaging dialogue and an original storyline that masterfully tackles weighty subjects…A welcome, highly readable addition to every YA lover's bookshelf…By deftly lending a voice to discrimination and disability while simultaneously weaving a believable tale of grief, family, hope and healing, Groth has penned an emotionally satisfying read. "
Quill & Quire
"Munro vs. the Coyote is an engaging read—one in which teenagers facing loss, personal anguish, or negative self-talk may find familiarity and comfort."
Eileen Cook, bestselling author of With Malice
"A celebration of all that makes us weird, wonderful, and unique. Groth creates characters who learn resilience in the face of grief and discrimination and does it with the perfect balance of humour and heart."
Kirkus Reviews
"Groth introduces readers to a sympathetic main character who is trying to move through trauma and to a sparkling supporting cast that gives voice to disability…[Munro's] first-person narration is strong (both sassy and heart-wrenching) and the thoughtful handling of trauma and difference, both genuine and relevant. Characters that will steal readers' hearts with their humor and resilience, smooth writing, and a satisfying and hopeful ending make this a book to enjoy both emotionally and critically."
Resource Links
"The novel deals realistically with very difficult situations…Readers will learn a great deal about coping with grief, dealing with psychological problems, working with special needs adults, and facing responsibilities in life."
Mariam's Yummy Books blog
"This book exceeded my expectations with very simple to read writing, excellently plotted twist, and strong friendships with fantastic characters."

Awards

CCBC Best Books  | 2018 | Commended
Amy Mathers Teen Book Award  | 2018 | Short-listed
White Pine Award  | 2019 | Short-listed

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