Cosmos Coyote and William the Nice

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9780805064346: Cosmos Coyote and William the Nice
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In this truly modern teenage love story, spirituality and sensuality burn equally bright.

"I have these two characters I hide behind. The real one is Cosmos Coyote and the phony one is William the Nice. But sometimes I get them mixed up, like now and almost all the time when I'm with you."

Cosmos DeHaag is a fast-thinking, law-bending, teenage songwriter from Seattle. In trouble with the law, he is sent to live with his conservative Christian relatives in Iowa and he splits his personality in two: William the Nice will play along, while Cosmos Coyote stays true. When he meets Cherlyn, a beautiful charismatic Christian, their passion takes them both by surprise and the lines between truth and falsehood, Cosmos and William, begin to blur. Now even Cosmos himself is unsure: is he being true when he lies, or lying when he's being true?

Jim Heynen explores teenage passion and spiritual yearning in a book for older teens that breaks boundaries and will entrance readers.

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Review:

Seventeen-year-old Seattle native Cosmos DeHaag's life of petty crime has finally caught up with him. As punishment for his small-time offenses, Cosmos is sentenced to a school year on his uncle's farm in Iowa. There, he determines that his true trickster personality, Cosmos Coyote, will have to hide behind the mask of his well-behaved alter ego, William the Nice. But no one is more surprised than Cosmos when he ends up falling for the most devout Christian girl in town, Cherlyn Van Dyke, and she for him. These two navigate the rough waters of sexual temptation and disapproving parents in an amusing and poignant journey that will try both the faith and the funny bones of teen readers.

Although author Jim Heynan's rendition of teen-speak is a bit unrealistic (lovesick Cosmos utters phrases like "There's more sparkle in your smile than in the stars. There's more light in your eyes than the moon"), the discussions between Cosmos and Cherlyn about religion are thought-provoking. Many teens will find their own musings about God echoed in the voices of these characters, even if those voices aren't quite right. What is right are Heynan's settings. He evokes the Iowa cattle fields with descriptions that are lovingly crafted and often hilarious. His take on the scent of cow manure is typical: "If there is an aphrodisiac, this smell must be the anti-aphrodisiac. Iowa birth control." Cosmos Coyote compares favorably with Randy Powell's Tribute to Another Dead Rock Star, which also deals with a Seattle teen's spiritual struggle. (Ages 13 to 17) --Jennifer Hubert

About the Author:

Jim Heynen is a product of both religious, conservative Iowa, and the cutting edge Pacific Northwest. He makes his home in St. Paul, Minnesota, and is a writer-in-residence at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. For this year, he is a writer-in-residence at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780064472562: Cosmos Coyote and William the Nice

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ISBN 10:  0064472566 ISBN 13:  9780064472562
Publisher: HarperTeen, 2002
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