A COYOTE’S IN THE HOUSE by Elmore Leonard


Age Range: 9 - 13
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The author of Get Shorty turns to children’s books with a character study of three very different types. Antwan is a Hollywood Hills coyote who talks like he’s straight from the ’hood; Buddy is a German shepherd, a former movie star whose light has gone dim; Miss Betty is the show poodle who lives with Buddy. When Antwan chases a mouse into Buddy and Miss Betty’s back yard, he ends up moving right in—the idea is that he and Buddy are going to trade experiences, he as a pampered house pet and Buddy as a wild dog of the hills. Leonard’s characterization is both broad and gentle: each canine begins as a stereotype, but it soon becomes apparent that all three have become the roles they play in life, and it’s the growing friendship that allows each to explore different personae. The plot meanders a bit, with a catnapping and a movie audition thrown in to complicate the relationships, but in the end, it’s a cheerful and ultimately bittersweet look at how life choices shape who we are. Good fun. (Fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-054404-X
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: HarperEntertainment
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2004