La description

When Kid accompanies her parents to New York City, she discovers a goat living on the roof of her Manhattan apartment building— but she soon realizes a goat on the roof may be the least strange thing about her new home, whose residents are both fascinating and unforgettable.

When Kid accompanies her parents to New York City for a six-month stint of dog-sitting and home-schooling, she sees what looks like a tiny white cloud on the top of their apartment building.

Rumor says there’s a goat living on the roof, but how can that be?

As Kid soon discovers, a goat on the roof may be the least strange thing about her new home, whose residents are both fascinating unforgettable.

In the penthouse lives Joff Vanderlinden, the famous skateboarding fantasy writer, who happens to be blind. On the ninth floor are Doris and Jonathan, a retired couple trying to adapt to a new lifestyle after Jonathan’s stroke. Kenneth P. Gill, on the tenth, loves opera and tends to burble on nervously about his two hamsters — or are they guinea pigs? Then there’s Kid’s own high-maintenance mother, Lisa, who is rehearsing for an Off Broadway play and is sure it will be the world’s biggest flop.

Then Kid meets Will, whose parents died in the Twin Towers. And when she learns that the goat will bring good luck to whoever sees it, suddenly it becomes very important to know whether the goat on the roof is real.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations.

Describe how a narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described.

Compare and contrast stories in the same genre (e.g., mysteries and adventure stories) on their approaches to similar themes and topics.


With delicate insight and humor, Fleming cleverly unites people — and goats — from vastly different walks of life in an offbeat celebration of courage and individuality.


The convoluted, intricate tale is filled with joy, sweet sadness, and a triumph of spirit. Lovely.


A quirky, riotous story that uses a preposterous conceit to deftly veil much deeper issues and themes.

- Quill & Quire, STARRED REVIEW

At turns funny and affecting, this [is an] ingeniously knitted ensemble piece for 9- to 12-year-olds.

- The Wall Street Journal

The list of characters is long, and eccentricities abound, but so do charm and warm humor. Perfect for tweens who prefer quiet, character-driven novels and fans of E.L. Konigsburg.

- School Library Journal

Kid’s adjustment to New York City, her time in museums, and the warm and unusual neighbors make for a lively yet tender story.

- Publishers Weekly

An affectionate and quirky ode to Manhattan.

- Horn Book

The Goat takes a concept easiest told as zany and madcap, but isntead wisely presents it as perfectly ordinary. If Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach made a kids' movie … this would certainly be their script.

- National Post