There’s a goat living on the roof of a New York City apartment building—or is it merely an urban legend?
White Toronto native Kid and her parents arrive in the city, where they will live in a cousin’s apartment and take care of his dog, Cat, while he is away. Her mom is a scattered, nervous actor who will be appearing in an off-Broadway play that she created. Cousin Doug leaves them a detailed book describing every possible facet of Cat’s care and all the people with whom he interacts. Kid feels generally “paralyzed by shyness” except when she is safe in her “family bubble,” but she finds herself welcomed by Cat’s friends. Brown-skinned Will, whose parents were killed in the twin towers, speaks in Spoonerisms, and is afraid to look out of windows, tells Kid about the goat. Together they are determined to find it, and while involved in their quest, they lose some of their fears. Fleming has created delightfully eccentric and warmhearted characters that exist in a close-knit community in lovely, accurately described New York City venues. The delightfully named, multiply diverse tenants in the building have interesting back stories and are given a turn at expressing their viewpoints. Even the goat tells of his hunger and longings. The convoluted, intricate tale is filled with joy, sweet sadness, and a triumph of spirit.
Lovely. (Fiction. 9-12)