Billie Someday. Andy Graham. 2021. 160 pages. [Complete and total guess] [Source: Review copy]
First sentence: It may have felt like an ordinary July morning high in this mountain valley, but you can be sure that it was not.This was a special day, because in the valley there happened to be a farm where, on a barn floor of well-trampled hay and mud, a proud mother goat lay chewing a bit of cud, waiting to give birth. She was alone for the moment, but soon there would be a sweltering gale of commotion, including a farmer, a doctor, wet nurses, dry nurses, congratulators—and a handful of nosy goats that would begin prodding for details.
Premise/plot: Billie Someday, our heroine, is a goat. A goat who feels it is her destiny to be the greatest of all time. Yes, our goat wants to be a G.O.A.T. Unsatisfied with her mundane life on the farm, this kid is determined to do something extraordinary: to return to the home of her distant ancestors. Billie Someday wants to be a mountain goat, or, perhaps a mountain climbing goat. But it won't be an easy journey. Far from it. Obstacles abound. Will Billie's dreams come true? Will she climb to the top of the mountain? Can she survive the oh-so-dangerous wolves that stand in between her and the mountain? Will she return to tell her tale?
My thoughts: Billie Someday is a middle grade animal fantasy. Since there is an animal on the cover, I do feel I need to mention that Billie (and friends) survive to the end of the novel. This isn't one of those books where you will need a box of tissues.
I do not have an adventurous bone in my body. I don't. But Billie does. Billie is all about ONE dream, and that dream will take her off the ordinary path so to speak. She's not like any other goat--well, farm goat, she knows. She's different and she has to fully and completely embrace her difference in order to realize her awesomeness.
The story is direct rather than cutesy. These farm goats are being kept for one reason only: for milk. The girls are kept, of course, and will go on to have kids of their own and be milk producers. But the boys, well, they aren't kept--or if they are kept, not intact. There for a while I thought this book was going to go semi-graphic in that department. (It didn't. Not really. Kids (human readers) may be curious about kids (the goats) and ask questions and look up definitions, but there's nothing inappropriate in the text itself. And it's certainly nothing that would be new to a farm kid.
I think my favorite character was the cat, Antoni.
© 2021 Becky Laney of Young Readers