Parents' Guide to

The Goats

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Camp tale gives readers a lot to think about.

The Goats Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Amazing Book

This is one of the best books I've ever read! It's about Laura and Howie, two teenagers, who are stranded, naked, on an island. They don't even know each other! This is a really exciting book! I soo wish there was a sequel!! You should definitely read this book!

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (5):

Some young readers may be frustrated by the ambiguous ending, even as they revel in the children's ongoing defiance of a hostile world. Unlike many survival stories, the main characters are not lost in a wilderness but are eking out their hunted existence at the edges of civilization, though Howie is mightily tempted to try to disappear into the woods and never be found. With glancing commentaries on the many and varied relationships between and among children and adults, the author gives readers much to ponder and discuss.

THE GOATS made quite an impression when it first came out in 1987. It takes place in the children's fiction favorite locale to examine the cruelty of mankind: summer camp. (In fact, it has the kind of grit shown in another well-known cruelty-in-camp novel, "Bless the Beasts and Children.") But what sets it apart from others in its genre is the careful tenderness of the relationship between Howie and Laura, a deeply emotional relationship that never becomes sexual. It's finally that bond, portrayed with great delicacy and beauty by the author, that becomes the most meaningful part of their harrowing experience.

Book Details

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