The Goat

The Goat

Book - 2017
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When Kid accompanies her parents to New York City for a six-month stint of dog-sitting and home-schooling, she sees what looks like a tiny white cloud on the top of their apartment building.

Rumor says there's a goat living on the roof, but how can that be?

As Kid soon discovers, a goat on the roof may be the least strange thing about her new home, whose residents are both strange and fascinating.

In the penthouse lives Joff Vanderlinden, the famous skateboarding fantasy writer, who happens to be blind. On the ninth floor are Doris and Jonathan, a retired couple trying to adapt to a new lifestyle after Jonathan's stroke. Kenneth P. Gill, on the tenth, loves opera and tends to burble on nervously about his two hamsters -- or are they guinea pigs? Then there's Kid's own high-maintenance mother, Lisa, who is rehearsing for an Off Broadway play and is sure it will be the world's biggest flop.

Kid is painfully shy and too afraid to talk to new people at first, but she is happy to explore Manhattan, especially the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park, where she meets Will, who is also home-schooled and under the constant watchful eye of his grandmother. As Kid and Will become friends, she learns that Will's parents died in the Twin Towers. Will can't look out windows, he is a practitioner of Spoonerism, and he is obsessed with the Ancient Egyptian Tomb of Perneb.

When Kid learns that the goat will bring good luck to whoever sees it, suddenly it becomes very important to know whether the goat on the roof is real. So Kid and Will set out to learn the truth, even if it means confronting their own fears.

Publisher: Toronto : Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2017.
ISBN: 9781554989164
Branch Call Number: J FIC Flemi
Characteristics: 155 pages ; 20 cm

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forbesrachel Oct 09, 2017

You might not believe it, but in New York there lives a most unusual resident upon the top of a building. Most of the tenants don't even know that it is there, and why would they think it would be, mountain goat's aren't commonly found in stone jungles. The Goat isn't just about a goat though, sure it does give this young creature's point of view from time to time, and it does explain how it got there, but really it is about a group of people who all, metaphorically speaking, see greener pastures just beyond their reach. The most prominent character is Kid, a girl who has come with her family to babysit a dog named Cat. Her shyness makes it difficult to interact with others. She wishes that she wasn't like this, but even with her parents' encouragement, she makes little improvement. All the other characters struggle with their own variety of problems, there is: the blind author who is in a rut; the depressed man who finds his live drastically altered from a stroke; the little boy who suffers from a crippling fear of heights because of a past trauma; and more. Each gets a chance to briefly tell their tale in their own words. It is the goat that brings them together, and in a funny way, it is the goat that leads to each individuals growth. The Goat has a very unusual way of telling its story, and frankly it isn't immediately obvious what the point is. The children go off looking for a goat, would be the short summary of the plot, but that is not what the book is about. This is a character study that focuses on overcoming one's own fears and perceived limitations. Fleming never deviates from this goal, making this a short and sweet read. Some may find how the story ends with a sharp cut disappointing, but all the threads are tied up. Between its diverse cast of unusual characters, its interesting premise, and its hopeful message of empowerment, the Goat is well worth your time.

Ms_Gaye Apr 29, 2017

Is there a goat on the roof of Kid's apartment building? She's out to find out why & how that might happen, and if it's really true. This story with its odd characters is appealing and fun. Ages 9-12

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