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Young Adult Fiction Disabilities & Special Needs

Munro vs. the Coyote

by (author) Darren Groth

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Oct 2017
Disabilities & Special Needs, Australia & Oceania, Siblings
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2017
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2017
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2021
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 12 to 18
  • Grade: 8 to 12
  • Reading age: 12 to 18


Since the sudden death of his younger sister, Evie, sixteen-year-old Munro Maddux has been having flashbacks and anger-management issues.

He has a constant ache in his right hand. And there's a taunting, barking, biting voice he calls "the Coyote." Munro knows a six-month student exchange will not be the stuff of teenage dreams, but in Brisbane, he intends to move beyond his troubled past. It is there, at an assisted-living residence called Fair Go Community Village, that Munro discovers the Coyote can be silenced.

Munro volunteers as a "Living Partner" and gets to know the team of residents he is assigned to. The burden Munro carries, however, is not so easily cast aside. When one of the team makes the decision to leave, the Coyote gets a new life. When a second resident is taken away, the specter of trauma and death looms larger than ever. Will Munro learn how to silence the voice? Or will the Coyote ultimately triumph?

The epub edition of this title is fully accessible.

About the author

Darren Groth is the author of seven novels including Kindling (Hachette Australia, 2010), Are You Seeing Me? (Orca, 2017), Munro vs. the Coyote (Orca, 2017) and Infinite Blue (Orca, 2018). He won the 2016 Adelaide Festival Award for Young Adult Literature and has been nominated for numerous other prestigious prizes, among them the Governor General’s Literary Awards, the BC Book Prizes, the OLA White Pine Award, the CBCA Book of the Year (Australia), and the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards (Australia). Groth is a passionate advocate for the representation of neurodiversity and intellectual disability in literature, and is the proud father of a son with autistic spectrum disorder. When he’s not watching American Ninja Warrior with his beautiful wife, he’s eating Fatburger with his wondrous twins. He lives in Vancouver, BC.

Darren Groth's profile page


  • Commended, BC Books for BC Schools
  • Nominated, Forest of Reading White Pine Award
  • Short-listed, Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC) Amy Mathers Teen Book Award
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens

Editorial Reviews

"A celebration of all that makes us weird, wonderful, and unique. Groth creates characters who learn resilience in the face of grief and discrimination and does it with the perfect balance of humour and heart."

Eileen Cook, bestselling author of With Malice

“Authentic, intense emotion drives the story.”

The Horn Book

"This book exceeded my expectations with very simple to read writing, excellently plotted twist, and strong friendships with fantastic characters."

Mariam's Yummy Books blog

"Groth introduces readers to a sympathetic main character who is trying to move through trauma and to a sparkling supporting cast that gives voice to disability…[Munro's] first-person narration is strong (both sassy and heart-wrenching) and the thoughtful handling of trauma and difference, both genuine and relevant. Characters that will steal readers' hearts with their humor and resilience, smooth writing, and a satisfying and hopeful ending make this a book to enjoy both emotionally and critically."

Kirkus Reviews

"Groth's novel is an unassuming look at survivor's guilt. Munro is a likable character, and all the new friends he makes are quirky and well-drawn supporters in his journey to recovery. A welcome addition to realistic-fiction collections."


"In addition to some laugh-out-loud humour, this page-turner has some heart-wrenching moments...It is a richly layered book about love, the tenacity of the human spirit, and our capacity to mend. Darren Groth is a brilliant storyteller...A delight to review."

BC BookWorld

"Munro vs. the Coyote is an engaging read—one in which teenagers facing loss, personal anguish, or negative self-talk may find familiarity and comfort."

Quill & Quire

"Munro's journey is compelling and his voice believable."

Canadian Literature

"Exceptionally fine; Groth writes with knowledge, compassion, maturity of vision and piercing humour. His characters, created with warmth and depth—from major to minor—are idiosyncratic and lively. It is Groth's deft evocation of Munro's self-aware narration and the voices in his head that powerfully propels the novel."

The Vancouver Sun

"Groth's realistic novel is a can't-put-it-down read. Young adults will root for Munro to defeat Coyote and find peace…Readers will find Munro's coping with death fascinating and relevant. Recommended for fans of The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner and Winger by Andrew Smith; this book will fly off the shelves."

School Library Journal (SLJ)

"[Groth] portrays all his characters as multifaceted and flawed individuals, while still capturing the undeniable transformative power of helping others."

The Globe and Mail

"Engrossing, entertaining and uplifting…This book will strike a chord and shift perspectives for many readers while it entertains them. Highly Recommended."

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"A great tale about friendship and open-mindedness, and accepting differences in others."

Susin Nielsen, award-winning author of Optimists Die First

"An engrossing, uplifting must-read. An insightfully complex cast of characters, engaging dialogue and an original storyline that masterfully tackles weighty subjects…A welcome, highly readable addition to every YA lover's bookshelf…By deftly lending a voice to discrimination and disability while simultaneously weaving a believable tale of grief, family, hope and healing, Groth has penned an emotionally satisfying read."

Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC) Canadian Children’s Book News

"The novel deals realistically with very difficult situations…Readers will learn a great deal about coping with grief, dealing with psychological problems, working with special needs adults, and facing responsibilities in life."

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