Coyote Girl

Judith Logan Lehne

Coyote Girl cover



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School Gr 4-6-After her mother is murdered, Billie escapes from her negligent stepfather as they leave Minnesota for an unknown destination. A boy's name, a short haircut, and a penchant for daydreaming is all Billie's mother has left her, but the girl is determined to make a new life for herself in a ``Someplace'' she has dreamed of. She looks for signs from God to give her direction, and finds one in an old photo of Great Aunt Gloria, a bohemian sort last known to be running a gift shop in Beacon City, WI. Using a combination of ingenuity and $215 taken from her stepfather, Billie makes it to Beacon City, only to find that Gloria moved away years before. Along the way Billie befriends a wounded coyote pup and they find shelter in the basement room of a demolished house. While a bond develops between them, Billie comes to realize that Omen must be free to live among his kind and ultimately lets him go. She filches vegetables from the garden of a nearby house, solely occupied by a gentle woman who fashions clay animals and plays the flute. Sandra finally discovers her, takes her in, and, as they come to know one another, begins the process of legal guardianship. Despite some flashes of melodrama and an almost too-neat ending, this is a well-written, satisfying story with a resourceful heroine whose physical and emotional survival will matter to readers.-Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY