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Banned Book Review: The Goats

November 29, 2005

30. The Goats by Brock Cole

Reason:  Challenged for describing the rescue of a naked girl and for offensive and inappropriate language for seventh graders.

Stranded on an island naked by fellow campers, the two main characters in this story lie, steal, and do whatever it takes to keep away from the camp where they were treated as outcasts until they can be rescued.  Throughout the book, the main characters are referred to as The Boy and The Girl in the narrative giving the characters a symbolic nakedness in the absence of their names.  Their names are eventually teased out in dialogue with other characters, but are only use in the narrative in the last sentences of the book.  The challenge listed above seems to imply that only the girl is left naked, but in reality, both children are.  The pair are both socially immature outcasts and neither gives much thought to the idea of sex.  Several adults and older kids make comments about the pair involving sex, demonstrating that the adults in this story are more focused on sex than the two scared kids trying to survive a horrible prank.  The growth of the relationship between the main characters is just as interesting as their adventures and will keep kids and adults alike interested until the end.  Recommended for ages 9-12.

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