for The Goats
by Brock Cole
An unusual survival story begins abruptly with immediate tension, as two socially inept, prepubescent kids are abandoned with no provisions and few clothes as part of an annual, cruel, camp prank. The boy and girl create their own moral code for remaining beyond the reaches of authority, while gradually gaining self-dignity and self-worth from each other. A provocative novel uses language with elegance and metaphors with ease in a contemporary tale of paradise found and claimed. Although the images of inner city campers representing worldly knowledge are jarringly off-target, the novel's eminently discussible elements and unanswered questions represent essential considerations forcefully presented. Honor Book, 1987 CCBC Newbery Discussion. (Age 12 and older)
CCBC Choices 1987 . © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1987. Used with permission.
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.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.