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The Trouble with Goats and Sheep (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Out of the mouths of babes is the best way to describe this story. It’s 1976 and the neighbors on the cul-de-sac come and go each day and do a great deal of minding each other’s business. When one of them, Mrs. Creasy, disappears, it sets in motion a flurry of suspicion and gossip. Viewed through the eyes of ten-year-old Grace and her little friend Tilly, it becomes clear that they need to find the missing woman by knocking on each household’s door, finding their way inside, and in the course of “investigating” manage to uncover secrets that have lain dormant for a decade. At once funny and tender-hearted, this is also a look at the ways in which human beings can bring out the absolute best and worst in each other.

— From Anne Holman

July 2016 Indie Next List

“Best friends Grace and Tilly spend England's sweltering summer of 1976 sleuthing for clues to uncover the reason for their neighbor's disappearance. They go from house to house, neighbor to neighbor, investigating as only guileless little girls can do. While they're at it, they also look for god in the most unusual places. As the mystery of the neighborhood is slowly revealed, so are the many secrets behind every door on the avenue. If you loved A Man Called Ove, you will love The Trouble With Goats and Sheep. Funny, quirky and profound!”
— Cathy Langer (M), Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO


"An astute, engaging debut" (Publishers Weekly), The Trouble with Goats and Sheep is a quirky and utterly charming tale of a community in need of reconciliation and two girls learning what it means to belong.

England, 1976. Mrs. Creasy is missing and the Avenue is alive with whispers. The neighbors blame her sudden disappearance on the heat wave, but ten-year-olds Grace and Tilly aren't convinced, and decide to take matters into their own hands.

Spunky, spirited Grace and quiet, thoughtful Tilly go door to door in search of clues. The cul-de-sac starts to give up its secrets, and the amateur detectives uncover more than they ever imagined. A complicated history of deception begins to emerge--everyone on the Avenue has something to hide.

During that sweltering summer, the lives of all the neighbors begin to unravel. The girls come to realize that the lies told to conceal what happened one fateful day about a decade ago are the same ones Mrs. Creasy was starting to peel back just before she disappeared...

"A thoughtful tale of loyalty and friendship, family dynamics and human nature" (Kirkus Reviews), this glorious debut is part coming-of-age story, part mystery. The Trouble with Goats and Sheep radiates an unmistakable warmth and intelligence and is "rife with tiny extraordinaries" (The New York Times Book Review). "Joanna Cannon is an author to watch" (Booklist, starred review).
Product Details
ISBN: 9781501121906
ISBN-10: 1501121901
Publisher: Scribner Book Company
Publication Date: June 20th, 2017
Pages: 368
Language: English