How to Steal a Dog
By Barbara O'Connor
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374334970, 176pp.)
Publication Date: March 20, 2007
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Half of me was thinking, Georgina, don’t do this. Stealing a dog is just plain wrong. The other half of me was thinking, Georgina, you’re in a bad fix and you got to do whatever it takes to get yourself out of it.
Georgina Hayes is desperate. Ever since her father left and they were evicted from their apartment, her family has been living in their car. With her mama juggling two jobs and trying to make enough money to find a place to live, Georgina is stuck looking after her younger brother, Toby. And she has her heart set on improving their situation. When Georgina spots a missing-dog poster with a reward of five hundred dollars, the solution to all her problems suddenly seems within reach. All she has to do is “borrow” the right dog and its owners are sure to offer a reward. What happens next is the last thing she expected.
With unmistakable sympathy, Barbara O’Connor tells the story of a young girl struggling to see what’s right when everything else seems wrong. How to Steal a Dog is a 2008 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
Barbara O’Connor is the author of numerous acclaimed books for children, including Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia; Me and Rupert Goody; and Greetings from Nowhere. She has been awarded the Parents’ Choice Gold and Silver Awards, the Massachusetts Book Award, and the Dolly Gray Award, among many honors. As a child, she loved dogs, salamanders, tap dancing, school, and even homework. Her favorite days were when the bookmobile came to town. She was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, and now lives in Duxbury, Massachusetts, a historic seaside village not far from Plymouth Rock.
"Will keep youngsters totally engaged. This novel's gentle storytelling carries a theme of love and emphasizes what is really right in the world." -- STARRED, School Library Journal “This is truly Georgina’s story, and to O’Connor’s great credit, it’s Georgina herself who figures out what’s right and does it. The myriad effects of homelessness and the realistic picture of moral quandary will surely generate discussion.” --Booklist "Georgina's . . . how-to journal will have kids anticipating her misconceptions about the realities of theft and deception. A powerful portrayal from an innocently youthful perspective . . .A suspenseful and achingly realistic story." --Kirkus Reviews "O'Connor knows how to spin a touching story, and reading this novel is its own reward." --The Horn Book "O'Connor once again smoothly balances challenging themes with her heroine's strength and sense of humor.” --Publishers Weekly “Will give a more privileged audience much to ponder.” --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "A must-have for a classroom library." —IRA