Meagan's Reviews > The Goats

The Goats by Brock Cole
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's review
Jan 21, 2008

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bookshelves: teen_materials_class, banned_books
Read in January, 2008

I read this book primarily because it has been one of the most challenged books in American libraries, and I'm always interested in reading challenged and banned books. The Goats tells the story of two teens, referred to mainly as "the boy" and "the girl" through most of the book, who are the victims of a cruel and humiliating camp prank. They are stripped and left for the night on a small island, a camp tradition that involves choosing two "goats." In a courageous move, however, they choose to make their way off of the island and disappear. I think that I would have appreciated the book more if I had read it as a teenager. The sense of isolation, hopelessness and embarrassment which I remember so well from my own adolescence were very well written, and tempered with the tentative happiness from finding a friend who understands you. The book does show its age, primarily through cultural references like breakdancing teens, but the story itself still feels relevant to me. Teens who don't mind reading older books would likely enjoy this story of two misfits searching for their place in the world.

As far as the banning/challenging is concerned, it seems to me that the likely censorship premise centers around nudity. Since both teens were stripped and abandoned, they spend a large portion of the beginning of the book nude or in makeshift clothing. In addition, their predicament leads them to become very close very quickly, often holding hands and sleeping together for warmth. The nudity and closeness are not, in my opinion, sensationalist, casual, or really all that sexual in nature. I found The Goats to be entirely appropriate for its teenage audience.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Keohokaleleonalani I liked how you commented the book, and I think it is appropriate for teens and possibly even pre-teens. But now as of 2013 they came out with a movie called standing up. Its very similar to the book but instead rated PG. If you enjoyed the book then you would really like the movie

message 2: by Deborah (new) - added it

Deborah Well I like the movie and o am only 11

message 3: by Deborah (new) - added it

Deborah I think the book is amazing!!!! I have never been humiliated in THAT way, but I have had bullies pick on me..... A lot. I did not have friends kinder-3 but I met my first best friend in the middle of 3rd grade. I have great friend now. I don't struggle with horrible bullying,but I do have diabetes type 1 and it has a lot of affect on ur life. People think I am crazy or disgusting cause I have to deal with blood every day. People say I am contagious: ( I still today have trouble fitting in. I don't wear the greatest clothes like iviva,lulu lemon,abercrombie,fich or any of that "COOL" stuff. I still am a nerd and I'm proud of it!!:)

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