The Goatnappers

Category: Themes: Animals
Justin struggles with conflicting choices and important decisions about family, loyalty, and responsibility as he decides what his path in life will be.
  • Price:
  • ISBN: 9781561454006
  • Publication date: 04/01/2007
  • Page Count: 224
  • Size: 6" x 8-1/2"
  • Age Range: 8-12
  • Price:
  • Age Range: 8-12
  • Price:
  • Age Range: 8-12
  • Price:
  • ISBN: 9781561457670
  • Publication date: 09/01/2016
  • Page Count: N/A
  • Age Range: 8-12
  • Price:
  • Age Range: 8-12
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Justin struggles with conflicting choices and important decisions about family, loyalty, and responsibility as he decides what his path in life will be.

Justin Martin is almost fifteen, and up until now his life has seemed woefully predictable—barely getting by in school, taking the bus home to do his chores around their small farm, bickering with his younger brother and sister. His mom has to work nonstop to make ends meet.

Then when Justin becomes the first freshman to make the high school’s varsity baseball team, he’s convinced his problems are all behind him. All he needs now is a little money for a bicycle to ride home from baseball practice. To earn the money for the bike, Justin sells Little Billy, one of the family’s beloved baby goats. But Justin’s siblings find out that the new owner is horribly mistreating Little Billy. Then, when a red sports car appears in the Martin’s driveway one afternoon, is it bringing emotional upheaval for the entire family, the tempting lure of adventure, or both?

Author Rosa Jordan’s memorable, well-drawn characters are woven together into a web of complex relationships marked by the challenges of figuring out what is right and wrong and the confusion of divided loyalties. The result is a richly textured portrait of small town life and a struggling family that will intrigue and satisfy readers.



Rosa Jordan


Rosa Jordan holds degrees from Santa Monica Junior College, UCLA, and the University of Guanajuato, Mexico. She is the author of Cycling Cuba and Dangerous Places: Travels on the Edge and the director of the social justice program for Earthways Foundation. She lives in Canada.


“In this sequel to Lost Goat Lane (2004), the endearing Martin family returns with the focus on 14-year-old Justin…The goatnappers’ amusing antics and Justin’s challenging choices make this a good read for middle-graders.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“The honest family drama is woven together with the neighborhood story, as the kids on the block, teens and younger, join together to rescue a beloved baby goat from an abusive owner… The animal cruelty issues will draw readers, and so will the friendships across race, gender, and age that show the meaning of community.” ―Booklist

“The well-defined characters will keep readers engaged, and Jordan skillfully handles the moral issue of whether breaking the law is ever the right thing to do.” ―School Library Journal


Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers ―VOYA, 2007

More Details

AR Level: 4.6
GRL: S, Gr 4
Lexile: 760L
Themes: Animal Rights, Class, Family, Rural Life
BISAC 1: JUV025000 JUVENILE FICTION / Lifestyles / Farm & Ranch Life
BISAC 2: JUV002090 JUVENILE FICTION / Animal / Farm Animals
BISAC 3: JUV039220 JUVENILE FICITON / Social Issues / Values & Virtues