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Exchange of Heart

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  108 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Sometimes, Life takes on a life of its own…

Since the sudden death of his younger sister, Munro Maddux has been stuck. Flashbacks. Anger. Chest pains. And a voice – taunting, barking, biting – that his counsellor calls ‘the Coyote’. Munro knows a student exchange will not be the stuff of Disney movies. But in Australia he intends to move beyond his troubled past.

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Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 31st 2017 by Penguin Random House Australia
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There is so much to love about Exchange of Heart. I enjoyed every single minute spent reading this amazing book. Heart, humour, grief, and friendship combine in this moving story.

After the sudden death of his sister, Munro Maddux is desperate to do something to shake the numbness and remove the voice in his head. So he grabs at the opportunity to complete a student exchange program to Australia. Here, he hopes he can find the peace he is searching for. But a volunteering program at his new schoo

Thank you to Orca Book Publishers for the ARC, provided via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

This is one of the most profound and beautifully written books that I have ever read.
The story was heart-breaking and awe-inspiring. I loved how Munro’s grief was realistically portrayed. It was never sugar-coated or glossed over. Sometimes it felt so real that I started crying for his part.

While the book mostly deals with the depression and acceptance phases in the 5 stages of g
When I was a child, my mother had a friend whose daughter was mentally retarded, as they used to say. She was a single mom, and had no idea how to deal with having a daughter whose mental age wasn’t above 10 years old. In those days, the bad old 50s and 60s, they would just stick her into a mental institution, or a home, or something. I met Lucy, the daughter, several times, as a kid, and thought she was nice. When her mother died, I lost track of her. She would be an old woman by now.

It is sad
Munro is on exchange to Australia from Canada. We are privy to his history, but he is choosing to keep the death of his sister on the lowdown. But huge secrets like this one are hard to keep quiet - especially with the Coyote yapping away in Munro's ears.

Exchange of Heart (Munro v the Coyote in the northern hemisphere) successfully explores a range of issues. Grief, guilt, difability (not a typo), friendship, trust, and love. The story is simple - boy leaves home to try to escape his past - but
This review first appeared in Magpies magazine, Sept 2017

Munro Maddux is still hurting from the sudden death of his little sister Evie a year ago. It has left its mark on Munro in a number of ways. He has anger issues, suffers from flashbacks and chest pains, and there is a constant ache in his right hand. But the most invasive is the voice he calls the Coyote; the one in his head that comments sarcastically on every aspect of his life, making him miserable. Looking for an escape from everythin
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it
review on my blog soon;
Heart-breaking and real.
Munro is a very special type of book character. He isn't as he appears and has such a warmth and rawness in him that just remains with you even after you've read the book. I like the idea behind the coyote. So many of us have our own coyotes and we hardly even realize and recognize it.
Munro goes to Australia to distance himself from the reality of his sister's death. Instead he realizes that his grief still haunts him and that he needs to change for the better. At first 'The coyote' is an ever
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Full review upon release
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
I have never read anything by Darren Groth before and when I read the blurb for this book, it didn’t seem like a great premise. But I wanted to give it a go anyway. And I am so glad that I did, because it is one hell of a book, that everyone should read.
The story follows a teenage boy Munro, as he is trying to navigate life now as an only child, as his sister recently passed away. With emotional and physical pain consuming his every waking thoughts, and school and home life going down the drain,
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, netgalley
Being published on Oct 17th, 2017
I was able to receive an early copy of Munro vs. the Coyote by Darren Groth from Netgalley.

This is one of the best contemporary novels I've read in a considerable amount of time. I'm usually not one for contemporary, but coming of age stories have a special place in my heart.
Munro, our main character was a witty teen dealing with a lot of shit. Watching his growth throughout the story made my heart so warm, and it was honestly done so well. Not only the pacing
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
How does someone in their late teens deal with the sudden death of his younger sister? This book follows the story of Munro, a boy living in Canada who is struggling with an inner battle to come to terms with the untimely loss of his sister Evie who had down syndrome. He is suffering flashbacks, depression – even anger and he’s dealing with a voice inside his head which is known as “The Coyote”. Upon losing interest in school and life itself, one way Munro finds to deal with this is embarking on ...more
Andrea Turner
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
I really loved reading Munro vs. the Coyote. I got thru it in less than a week, and that's impressive with a 4-month-old baby. The book grabbed me from the first page, and kept my attention through the final scene. Flawed as he was, Munro, the main character, was easy to love. As a young man dealing with great loss in a new place, I wanted to root for him. And I think that is important for the protagonist of any story.

It was also very nice to read a book featuring characters with disabilities, w
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been crossposted from my blog at The Cosy Dragon . Please head there for more in-depth reviews by me, which appear on a timely schedule.

Eve’s death has devastated Munro’s life to the point that he’s suffering flashbacks and anger on a daily basis. The voice in his head is constantly taunting him, and the only way to escape seems to be run all the way to Australia on student exchange. A volunteer placement at an assisted living placement shuts up Munro’s little voice some of the t
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have such a soft spot for a book with (accurate) descriptions of a place I've lived! loved all the Brisbane references.

This book flew by for me and I was a little sorry to realise it was ending. There's a lot to be examined here in the way of grief and wonderful representation of special needs characters. ultimately Munro and his "coyote" are deeply relatable even if the reader hasn't gone through the trauma he did. who hasn't battled those wily thoughts described here?

"There is always more y
Shannon Ozirny
Munro Maddux’s little sister had Down Syndrome and died in his arms from heart complications. Ever since, Munro has been plagued by a nasty internal voice he calls the Coyote. Drowning in self-doubt and self-destruction, Munro heads to Australia on a student exchange in hopes of recovery and escape. There he starts volunteering at Fair Go, a community residence for adults with developmental disabilities and challenges. It may seem too neat and tidy for Munro to deal with his demons by helping ot ...more
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this arc through Library Thing's early reviewer program in exchange for a review.

Canadian teenager, Munro Maddox witnessed the death of his sister, and struggles throughout the book to overcome his sense of failure and culpability of her death. His sister, Evie, had down syndrome, and Munro lived as her big brother, best friend, and helper. And yet, he couldn't save her life.
A part of him becomes "The Coyote," talking in his head, causing physical outbursts, dark thoughts, and separa
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, young-adult
A heart-warming story that explores both the struggle of being a consistent giver, and the healing that can come from expressing compassion for others. It also explores trauma, its impacts, and the process of learning to heal from the grief of losing one loved deeply. It's a short, quick read, but nonetheless one worth reading, particularly as it contains a cast of relateable, likeable characters that embrace disability not as a hindrance, but as an accepted characteristic of who they are as uni ...more
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
A heart-warming read about a boy named Munro Maddux who lost his sister and goes to Australia to recover. I'll have to admit I didn't expect to love this book, the beginning was a little slow and there is some profanity throughout this book, but as I read on I began to warm up to Munro and the rest of the characters and I can honestly say I love this book. I especially loved his big brother spirit and how the coyote appears and attacks him throughout the book.
I didn't expect to cry and I defini
Tina Jameson
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sensitively written...a teenage boy struggles to adapt to life after his sister's death; the loss, his personal guilt at having 'failed', the mask he wears to somehow convince everyone that he is ok. Ultimately this is a life affirming novel, with big heart and big characters, and the power of finding meaning and self worth.
This is the second book in a month I've read about a Canadian teenager grieving the death of a younger sibling. It wasn't a conscious choice, but rather chance; I won both Munro vs. the Coyote and Optimists Die First from the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program.

Munro Maddox has been struggling since the sudden death of his thirteen year old sister six months earlier. Munro hears a cruel, pessimistic voice in his head that he has named 'the Coyote' and, though it is never mentioned in the text,
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2018, arc

Munro Maddux (who has a superhero like name btw) deserves all the love in the world. He’s a boy who recently lost his little sister and he needs a hug. He doesn’t get a hug though, instead he goes from Canada to Australia on a student exchange.

This books is so entertaining and heart-warming. Munro meets some really great friends at his new school and he also volunteers at a live in home (I don’t know the exact name???) for people with disabilities wh
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Surprised me with how beautiful it was. I was all over the place emotional by the very end. Read my gushing review of how much I loved Munro as a main character.
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very accomplished YA novel. Well written and engaging.

It's the story, told in first person, of Munro, a Canadian student on exchange to Australia. Munro is in some sort of Post Traumatic phase and hears voices in his head, following the death of his down syndrome sister Evie.

The only gripe I have is that I'm sure Munro would not have been selected to be an exchange student given his mental state and recent traumatic events.

It's a positive outlook on people with disabilities and in youth its
Munro's Kids
The only other Darren Groth book I've read is Are You Seeing Me? Which I really liked. And from what I can tell Groth has great sympathy for anyone with a disability which comes out in the characters in his novels. The way he writes them down makes you feel like you've known these people for your entire life, which takes a lot of talent and effort to do, especially in a book like Munro vs. the Coyote.

(view spoiler)
Enid Wray
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A delightful, touching, beautiful little book that leaves you in a really good place. It’s like a mash up of some favourites: think The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night meets The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B meets Precious Cargo meets A Complicated Kindness. Well balanced with just the right portioning of the humourous and the serious.

The coyote was a little annoying at first (and could be a little better developed) but the novel really soars - and finds itself - when we meet the residents
Munro vs. the Coyote by Darren Groth is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early October.

Still mourning the death of his younger sister, Evie, curmudgeony Canadian teen Munro goes on an exchange student trip to Australia in order to avoid grief and the negative messages of The Coyote, his PTSD flashbacks that speak at him negatively in a bold font. His new host family and friends are radly kitschy and persistently punny in comparison to his not ungrateful, but not altogether with-it attitude.
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sheri Radford
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A somewhat flat, mostly boring story about a teen who joins a student exchange program in Australia to escape the pain caused by the death of his sister. Clearly, this doesn't work, and Munro is as haunted by the voice he calls "Coyote" in Brisbane as he was back in Canada. Along the way he learns to forge connections to new friends, new family, and the young people he helps out with at an assisted living center. The only times I enjoyed reading this book was when Munro was volunteering at the l ...more
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White Pine Awards...: Munro vs The Coyote, by Darren Groth 1 1 Nov 30, 2018 09:15PM  
Darren Groth is a Vancouver author and citizen of Canada, having moved from his native Australia in 2007. His novels include 'Kindling' and the acclaimed YA works, 'Are You Seeing Me?' and 'Munro vs. the Coyote'. His newest release, penned with younger brother Simon Groth, is the fabulist novella, 'Infinite Blue'.

Darren was the recipient of the 2016 Adelaide Festival Award for Young Adult Literat