cover image The Goat

The Goat

Anne Fleming. Groundwood (PGW, dist.), $14.95 (168p) ISBN 978-1-55498-916-4

When Toronto native Kid arrives in New York City with her parents to spend several months looking after a cousin’s dog, she expects to see new and unusual things, but the rumor of a goat living atop their building seems farfetched, even for Manhattan. But a goat is indeed there, and adult author Fleming (Gay Dwarves of America) uses humorous third-person narration to chronicle the animal’s circumstances and the story of how it arrived on the building, switching attention among multiple characters, both human and animal. Several of them have obstacles to overcome—including the goat’s hunger, Kid’s social phobia, her friend Will’s fear of windows, and an older neighbor’s frustration at the physical aftereffects of a stroke—which are dealt with as they search for the goat. Kid’s adjustment to New York City, her time in museums, and the warm and unusual neighbors make for a lively yet tender story. Will’s parents died during 9/11, a revelation handled with sensitivity, and the novel’s underlying theme of people coming together on a shared quest makes for a heartwarming and very New York tale. Ages 9–11. (Mar.)