You heard it here first. The 2018 Newbery is going to go to Anne Fleming's The Goat. Set in New York City, mostly in a single apartment building, it is funny yet deep, smart yet wacky and whimsical (without being annoying), surreal yet realistic, and utterly, completely original.
It is not a typical coming-of-age story. There is no divorce, no friendship triangles, no crushes, no school drama. In fact, there's no school. There is no sibling rivarly (there are no siblings). There is no conflict between a tween and her parents, no embarrassment as they all skip to Follow the Yellow Brick Road in public. This all makes for a nice change from the usual middle-grade chapter book fare.
There *is* an orphan and death and 9/11, but ten years on, in a totally matter-of-fact, non-tear-jerker-ish way.
There is a musical about soccer (Americanized from hockey) moms.
There is a man who's had a stroke, a blind science-fiction-writing skateboarder, and an immigrant grandmother from an unnamed country.
There is an 11-year-old girl named Kid and her parents, Lisa and Bobby, and a dog named Cat.
And yes, there is a goat.
Or is there?