The Goats

Brock Cole

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

A boy and a girl are stripped and marooned on a small island for the night. They are the “goats.” The kids at camp think it’s a great joke, just a harmless old tradition. But the goats don’t see it that way. Instead of trying to get back to camp, they decide to call home. But no one can come and get them. So they’re on their own, wandering through a small town trying to find clothing, food, and shelter, all while avoiding suspicious adults—especially the police. The boy and the girl find they rather like life on their own. If their parents ever do show up to rescue them, the boy and the girl might be long gone. . .


Read an Excerpt

Goats, The
The IslandWHEN HE came back to the beach with wood for the fire Bryce grabbed him from behind. The firewood scattered, bouncing off his knees and shins."Okay, Bryce," he said. "Cut it out." He tried to sound unafraid, even a little bored.Bryce pulled his elbows back until they were almost touching. The boy tried to look up at the other kids. They turned their faces away, squinting out over the lake or frowning up into the trees above the beach."Hey," Bryce said. "Do I have to do everything?"For a moment no one moved, and then Murphy shrugged and knelt down heavily in front of the


Praise for The Goats

"A significant addition to the body of children’s literature." -- Starred, The Horn Book

"A sensitive portrayal of that perilous time when young people are discovering their real strengths but must still bow to adult authority, a tale of underdogs triumphant, a powerful and beguiling story of survival and transformation." -- Starred, Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Brock Cole

  • BROCK COLE is the author of several highly acclaimed novels as well as the author and illustrator of many picture books, including Good Enough to Eat, Buttons, and Larky Mavis. He’s also the illustrator of George Washington’s Teeth, available from Square Fish. He lives in Buffalo, New York.
    Of his first novel, The Goats, Anita Silvey wrote in a Horn Book Magazine editorial, “The Goats reaffirms my belief that children’s literature is alive and thriving.” Betsy Hearne, editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, lauded it as “one of the most important books of the decade.” 
  • Brock Cole Copyright Tobiah Cole


Available Formats and Book Details

The Goats

Brock Cole

American Library Association Notable Children's Books, American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults, New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Books of the Y, Booklist Best Books of the '80s, Booklist Editors' Choice, Horn Book Magazine Fanfare List, Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year, School Library Journal Best Books of the Year
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