Aptly named coyote pup Trouble strays too far from home and ends up in the back of a truck headed for New York City.
Fortunately, he’s befriended—more or less—by a wily crow, Mischief, who provides help in key moments. A shy and anxious opossum, Rosebud, is drawn into their flight from Officer Vetch, a determined, not especially kind animal control officer who makes it his mission to find and round up the coyote. Mischief alternates between kindness, helping lead Rosebud and Trouble to the relative safety of Central Park, and good-natured malice, serving up a healthy supply of (somewhat) dirty tricks. After Trouble falls for a prissy but good-natured poodle, he starts to lose his wildness, growing less and less cautious of the perils of the city. When a little girl with good intentions but not much wisdom tries to feed Trouble, real danger emerges, leading to a suspenseful chase that will have readers cheering for the clever animals who team up to save their coyote friend. The animal protagonists emerge as believable if typecast characters: the owl is wise, the crow is clever, the swans are disdainful, Trouble is curious; but all of them are endearingly loyal. An interesting afterword provides additional animal information.
A fast-paced, immersive exploration of urban wildlife from a satisfying animal point of view. (Fiction. 9-12)