The Coyote Road (Hardcover)
Grade 6 Up—As they did in The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest (2002) and The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm (2004, both Viking), the editors have assembled 26 stories that present tricksters around the world. A shape-changing Japanese fox-girl comforts a lonely American boy; three generations of oil barons run afoul of Hermes and three human summoners protesting the family greed; an albino Cajun girl fools the devil. Settings are mostly other than present day and include ancient times. Readers who pay attention to the author's note will learn much about tricksters worldwide and their various natures. Each author's background is profiled, and while only a few have written books for children, all are previously published short-story writers. This excellent collection is bound to find an audience among experienced readers of the genre but is attractive to less-able readers, as well, for the short, punchy stories and an always-engaging trickster character. —Susan Hepler, formerly at Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA
Coyote. Anansi. Brer Rabbit. Trickster characters have long been a staple of folk literature—and are a natural choice for the overarching subject of acclaimed editors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling’s third “mythic” anthology. The Coyote Road features a remarkable range of authors, each with his or her fictional look at a trickster character. These authors include Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles), Charles de Lint (The Blue Girl), Ellen Klages (The Green Glass Sea), Kelly Link (Magic for Beginners), Patricia A. McKillip (Old Magic), and Jane Yolen. Terri Windling provides a comprehensive introduction to the trickster myths of the world, and the entire book is highlighted by the remarkable decorations of Charles Vess. The Coyote Road is essential reading for anyone interested in contemporary fantastic fiction.