Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Goats

The Goats

Written and illustrated by Brock Cole

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Harmless camp pranks can quickly spiral out of control, but they also provide a perfect opportunity for two social outcasts to overcome and triumph.

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. . . .

The Goats is a 1987 New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year.

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

EXCERPT

Goats, The

The Island
WHEN 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...

Reviews

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

About the author

Written and illustrated by Brock Cole

Brock Cole was born a year before the Second World War in a small town in Michigan. Because of his father's work, his family moved frequently, but he never regarded these relocations as a hardship.
"I thought of myself as something of an explorer, even though my explorations never took me very far. I had a deep and intimate acquaintance with woodlots, creeks, lakes, back streets, and alleys all over the Midwest."

He attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and received a doctorate from the University of Minnesota. After teaching philosophy for several years at the University of Wisconsin, he began writing and illustrating books for children.

"I had always wanted to write, and I loved to draw. I had small children, who were a wonderful audience. Children's books seemed a perfect fit."

His first book, The King at the Door, was published in 1979. Among his other picture books are The Winter Wren, The Giant's Toe, and Alpha and the Dirty Baby.

He now lives in Buffalo, New York, where his wife, Susan, teaches at the State University of New York. His sons both live in Athens, Georgia. Joshua teaches French history at the University of Georgia, and Tobiah is a painter and works as a waiter. Joshua is married to Kate Tremel, a potter and a teacher, and they have a little boy named Lucas.

Brock Cole's acclaimed first novel, The Goats, was published in 1987. It is set in the Michigan countryside of his childhood and captures the story of two loners' struggle for self-identity and inner strength after being made the targets of a cruel prank. In a Horn Book Magazine editorial, Anita Silvey wrote: "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 The Goats as "one of the most important books of the decade."

In Brock Cole's second novel, Celine, sixteen-year-old Celine, a budding artist, is living with her young stepmother, only six years older than Celine herself, while her father is teaching in Europe. Celine dreams of escaping this situation, but she becomes involved with caring for Jake, her seven-year-old neighbor, who is going through his parents' divorce.

Since he began his writing career, Brock Cole and his wife have traveled a good deal, living for one year in Washington and another in Germany, as well as spending frequent summers in Greece and Turkey.

"To be honest, I simply tag along after Susan. It's her research which takes us all over the place. I enjoy it immensely, though. There's something about sitting down to work at a rickety table in a strange city that clears the head. It's the best thing for a writer, or for this one, anyway."

Brock Cole

Copyright Tobiah Cole

Brock Cole

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