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Comment: 2010 - Paperback - Used - Good - - - Shows some shelf-wear. May contain old price stickers or their residue, inscriptions or dedications from previous owners in first few pages and remainder marks. -
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Goats, The Paperback – June 22, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

One of the publisher's first titles in its new line of teen fiction is this widely praised, thought-provoking novel about two children who find inner strength under stressful circumstances. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 8-10 Wimp, nerd, social retard some kids just naturally become scapegoats. Luckily an inner strength and an ability to survive sometimes surface, and these same scapegoats can confound their parents and acquaintances. Cole portrays this when fellow campers leave wimpy Howie Mitchell and ``real dog'' Laura Golden naked and scared on an island. When counselors arrive looking for them, Howie misunderstands and fears the return of their tormenters. He forces non-swimmer Laura to hang onto a log and float to the mainland. Reaching the safety of a deserted cabin, and realizing that they can't face returning to camp, they plot their survival until Parent's Weekend, when Laura's mother will visit, offering hope of sanctuary. Cole manages to instill just the right amount of suspense in their adventures through a potentially dangerous street kid, a cleaning woman who wants to turn them in to the police, and a sheriff who eventually snags them. Neither Howie nor Laura are initially likable kids, each either worrying or whining too much, but as they grow so does one's regard for them. The final distillation is a strong, well-blended story of modern day survival. A comparable book for older readers would be Lloyd Kropp's Greencastle (Freundlich, 1987). Pam Spencer, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Fairfax County, Va.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 15 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 10
  • Lexile Measure: 550L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish; 1 Reprint edition (June 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312611919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312611910
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As a voracious reader, I am always looking for a book that
will take over my mind, my heart and my soul in one fell
swoop. Imagine my surprise to find a book like this in a
course on Children's Literature.

Brock Cole has written nothing less than a masterpiece.
His book, The Goats, begins with two outcast, nerdy campers, a boy and a
girl, who are stripped bare and left on Goat Island by their
mean and nasty fellow campers. When they first find each
other, naked and alone, they seem almost infantile in their
needs. These two couldn't take care of themselves with
clothes on, let alone off. Amazingly though, with the
strength of their pride and humiliation behind them, they vow
to get off the island and teach their fellow campers a lesson. What
ensues is not quite plausible, yet totally believable.
Abandoned not only by their camp mates, but on a much
deeper level by their parents as well, these two goats
manage to survive in the most extraordinary ways.

The most exceptional part of Cole's story is not how they
survive physically, but how they survive mentally and
emotionally. These two thirteen year olds, on the cusp of
sexuality, develop an intensely intimate relationship. Cole
has written something so beautiful, so adult-like, but it is
doubtful that many adults ever really attain this level of
intimacy. Literally stripped naked physically, the two
characters find shelter and clothes within themseves, in their
relationship with each other.

Anyone who wants to be touched in the deepest way, to come
away from a book changed, will find the great
satisfaction with Brock Cole's The Goats.
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Format: Paperback
Wow, this book really holds your interest, hooking the reader's sympathy for the Boy and the Girl right from the start. You just Have to continue reading to see how they cope with sudden abandonment (supposed to be temporary) and decide to get even with the cruel kids at summer camp. Loss of clothing, money, self respect--just a malicious joke, you understand, to "punish" two social misfits.
Through no fault of their own, two pre teens were chosen to be their camp's annual sacrificial victims (i.e. goats), by being forced to spend a few embarrassing hours on a nearby island. Ha-ha--very funny to the terrified kids, who recognize their degrading situation and who ultimately reject the decision. Thus Howie and Laura (who did not even know each other) are forced to rely on each other's wits and daring (strengths they did not realize that they possessed) to reverse the kids' malicious decree. Not only to escape their dismal fate, but to survive on the outskirts of society for 3 days. They determine to get even, to pay them back for all the humiliation. Anything rather than endure the ridiule of returning to camp.
They decide to be proactive to preserve their own digntiy, to wait until the girl's mother comes up for Parents' Weekend. The plot rivets your attention for the kids must overcome incredible obstacles--posed by adutls and other kids--to live without the pale. It is unlikely that such social outcasts could be transformed so quickly into a cool "bandit" and a "fox wearing glasses", but the plot presents an interesting concept of social and physical survival. The book reads swiftly due to extensive dialogue, without the usual teenage platitudes. Their journey of self-discovery makes a fascinating read, with dark social undertones. For kids of all ages and adults harboring hurt kids inside. You will not be disappitned!
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By A Customer on October 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most wonderful books I have ever read. There are two levels to this book; the physical adventures Laura and Howie go on together, from an island to a town to the forests, and then the deeper level of this book, which is the relationship that develops between these two people. I don't think I have ever read a book in which two people experience such a wonderful, deep, beautiful, intimate bond; not in any adult novel, and not in any children's book. This book is beautifully written, and while the adventures of the two protagonists are not truly realistic, the entire book is completely believable. I give the highest recommendation I possibly can on this book; it subtly shines.
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By A Customer on February 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book when I was 11 years old and I am now 21. I enjoyed every bit so much that I know it word for word. I think the book is excellent for the mature young reader because it captures some issues that most adults would be able to relate to only through metaphors. This promising book includes puberty issues, isolation issues, and issues of social and moral growth. This book is still one of my favorites and I recommend it to any young adult that has ever had to face dilemmas at a very young age. I challenge the young reader to find their similarities and differences between the Bryce (main character) and his companion with themself.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book after seeing the movie "Standing Up" which is based upon the book. I hate bullying, but I love a story where the kids defeat the bullies with an even greater intensity.

Laura and Howie run away from camp after they are the recipients of a cruel joke. Even though they are very young, they do a great job of keeping care of one another. The adults in the story do not take the bullying seriously. This story is a good lesson for both parents and kids.

There is a little bit of bad language, but not so much that I put the book down. I did not like the ending at all, as it left too much in the air.

The movie is fantastic. Read this book first and then watch the movie.
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