One In Every Crowd is Ivan E Coyote’s first book for young adults and consists of some of their (Coyote uses the pronouns they and their) most beloved short stories.
The book begins with a letter Coyote writes to their younger self. I resisted the first page because I initially thought it was kind of cheesy, and then unexpectedly, I found myself bursting into tears. Cheesy? Maybe. But it was also undeniably poignant. Coyote writes to their younger self with the love, acceptance and peace that they lacked in their youth.
As you read the stories, a portrait of the author’s youth begins to form in your mind, and there’s a comfort and intimacy in their experiences growing up. Coyote survived a small-town Yukon upbringing and grew up to enter the “outside” — the word used by Yukon natives to describe the world outside the province.
Coyote travels “outside” and into the unknown — coming out of the closet, moving out of their hometown and stepping so far outside their old self that the stories have the perspective of someone who knows and loves better now but hasn’t forsaken the childhood memories that laid the foundation.