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.
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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