Book Review: Coyote's Daughter by Corie Weaver

Coyote's Daughter by Corie Weaver is an urban fantasy with deep roots in Native American legends for the middle grade through high school set. In the middle of summer twelve year old Maggie and her family move from San Diego to Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is less than thrilled about the move, but is an experienced hiker and explores her new world with her dog Jake. While exploring around the Rio Grande the pair discover Ash, a strange boy stuck in a trap. After freeing and befriending him Maggie is slowly drawn into a world of Tewa mythology and legend in which Ash is trying to defeat the twisted Shriveled Corn Man, who seeks to destroy Ash's village for their treatment of him as a child. Can Maggie get the help of the trickster Coyote and powerful Spider Old Woman by traveling through Ash's world, or will she and Jake fall prey to evil magic and stay captive with no hopes to return home.

Coyote's Daughter is a great book for readers that enjoy being introduced to mythologies that they did not know previously. The characters come to life on the page, and I had trouble putting the book down when I needed to do important things, like cook dinner or get some sleep. Maggie is a strong character, and even though she is not happy about her families move, after she expresses her feelings and knows that she cannot change her situation, she makes the best of it. I like her attitude and ability to do what needs to be done rather than whining about things beyond her control. She takes action, prepares herself well even when she thinks it might not be necessary (just in case), and generally thinks before she acts. I liked that she uses her intelligence and spunk to get things done rather than relying on luck or someone else to save her. Ash is a appropriately mysterious and sympathetic character, with motivations and adventures of his own.

I really know my Roman and Greek mythology, and bits of Native American legends, so I recognized bits and pieces of the legends used. However, I am much more aware of the legends from the Native American tribes in my area, that I was glad to learn bits from other regions. Getting these glimpses of legends always inspires me to learn more about the related culture and more legends from the area. I look forward to seeing where Weaver takes her New Legends of the Southwest series next in Bear's Heart.

Readers that like action, adventure, mythology, magic, survival, and coming of age tales will find something here that they can enjoy. There is a little bit of everything here, and the combination is just right as far as I am concerned. I think that middle school and high school students will enjoy this the most, but adults that enjoy children and teen literature should give this series a chance as well. I downloaded this book for free for my Kindle application through Amazon.
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