Beatrice’s Goat

beatricesGoatMore than anything, Beatrice longs to be a schoolgirl. But in her small African village, only children who can afford uniforms and books can go to school. Beatrice knows that with six children to care for, her family is much too poor. But then Beatrice receives a wonderful gift from some people far away — a goat! Fat and sleek as a ripe mango, Mugisa (which means “luck”) gives milk that Beatrice can sell. With Mugisa’s help, it looks as if Beatrice’s dream may come true after all. Based on a true story about the work of Project Heifer.

Related: Africa, Picture Book, Primary (ages 6-9), Realistic Fiction, Uganda

6 thoughts on “Beatrice’s Goat

  1. Stephanie Reavey says:

    Beatrice’s Goat is a richly illustrated book about a nine year old Ugandan girl that benefited from the Heifer Project International. The Heifer Project provides resources, training and community support to help families change their lives for the better. Beatrice’s family received a goat which leads to the opportunity for Beatrice to attend school for the first time.

    Beatrice’s Goat provides a heart-warming story about a little girl that feels “lucky” to have been given a goat to care for and use to create an income. This story hopefully shows students from higher income demographics than that of Beatrice, what it really means to ‘need’ something.

  2. Michelle Dreye says:

    Beatrice’s Goat was a wonderful story and I read it to my Kindergarten class. While it was a lot for them to think about at once they found many things that were important to Beatrice. She really wanted to go to school and when they sold the goat’s milk she then could go to school. They were a little surprised that Beatrice could not go to school and had to work helping her mother. Though in the end they said she worked hard and then got to go to school. The goat was important to Beatrice and they said the goat brought the family money and milk so they could have food. They thought it was amazing that she could sell one of the baby goats and have a new house. One of my students asked how they would tear down the house without one of the wrecking balls. This gave me an opportunity to talk with them about some of the differences about Beatrice and the place that she lived.

  3. Ashley says:

    Beatrice’s Goat by Page McBrier is a true story about a 9 year old Ugandan girl. Beatrice yearned to be a school girl and would watch the other children learn at the schoolhouse from a distance. However, she believed that her dream of being a student would never come true because she did not have the money for books or a uniform. Beatrice was able to make her dreams come true when her family received a goat that provided nutrition and income. This type of story teaches children in more privileged areas that they should not take things for granted. It is so common, especially in today’s society, that children are handed and given everything they want. However, there are children in countries that are not even being given the opportunity to receive an education or the resources that they need in order to survive. This is a great story for teachers to use to open up student’s eyes to what children living in other countries are faced with.

  4. Stephanie Veech says:

    This is a wonderful book and an even better story. My trade books teacher recently read this to us and we were amazed that with just a goat Beatrice was able to make all of her goals and so much more come true. We as Americans take so much for granted, but such a small gift as a goat gave a little girl her own life and success.

  5. Barbara Thompson Book says:

    Beatrice’s Goat is a wonderful example of microfinance in practice. Through the loan granted by Heeifer International, Beatrice is able to help her mother build a pen for her “loan” of a goat.
    the terms of the loan demand that when her goat produces offspring, they are donated to another family in the communnity–thus the loan is paid back and actually grows.

    In the interim, Beatrice’s family has enough goat milk to feed her own family and to sell excess milk to members of the community.

    Through this she is able to attend the local school and eventually college in the USA. Check out the website for more information on Beatrice. There is also a 60 Minutes DVD featuring Beatrice and her experience available from and other websites.

    This book is a good begining place for the beginning discussion of microfinance and how we as small supporters can have a big impact on the lives of others in places in the world of which we’ve only dreamed.

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