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|How to steal a dog : a novel|
Author: O'Connor, Barbara
After their father leaves them, Georgina persuades her brother to help her in a scheme to steal a dog, hoping to claim the reward the owners are bound to offer.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.00
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 115455
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 3.90
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 41254
Common Core Standards
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Kirkus Reviews (03/15/07)
School Library Journal (+) (00/05/07)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (06/07)
The Hornbook (05/07)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2007 Three rolls of quarters and a jar of crumbled singles, all that Georgina’s father left behind when he took off, won’t pay the rent, so she and her mother and brother Toby are living in their rattletrap car until Mama can get the money together for permanent lodging. Fed up with her precipitous decline in diet, hygiene, and status among friends and classmates, Georgina devises a moneymaking scheme to supplement her mother’s scanty, unreliable income: steal a dog from affluent and kindly looking owners, wait for the reward notices to be posted around her South Carolina town, and then return the dog for $500. Purloining perfect pup Willy proves remarkably easy; it’s hiding and feeding the dog, getting to know the story behind his not-so-wealthy-after-all owner, and dealing with a mighty prickly conscience that turns out to be hard. O’Connor strings out the slender storyline a tad more than necessary, but the details of the homeless family’s plight—washing in gas-station rest rooms, doing homework by flashlight, sleeping sitting up for nights in a row—will give a more privileged audience much to ponder. Readers will be glad to see the happy resolution that finds mother and kids sharing a small house with a single mom in exchange for babysitting help, the satisfying result of Mama’s hard work and the compassionate support of others who know a thing or two about hard times. EB - Copyright 2007 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2007 Gr 3-7- Georgina and her family have been living in their car since her father left and they were evicted from their apartment. Mama is working two jobs to earn rent money and trying hard to hold things together. Desperate to help out, Georgina decides to steal a dog for the reward money, laying out the details of her plan in a diary. However, the dog's owner can't afford to offer a reward, and Georgina ends up feeling sorry for the lonely woman. The girl also makes friends with another adult named Mookie, a kindhearted wanderer who is camped out at the abandoned house where she is keeping the dog. He shares his wisdom and offers help, whether she wants it or not. Georgina's narrative is honest and deeply touching, as she recounts how she and her brother try to survive their circumstances. Washing off in a gas station restroom and turning in grease-stained homework become fairly normal occurrences. Readers will identify with the agony and the embarrassment caused by being different, as well as Georgina's struggles with her conscience. The book's endearing humor smoothes out the more poignant moments, and the unfolding events will keep youngsters totally engaged. The gem in the story is Mookie, who manages to sparkle even when sadness threatens to devour the moment. Though set inside a heavy topic, this novel's gentle storytelling carries a theme of love and emphasizes what is really right in the world.-Robyn Gioia, Bolles School, Ponte Vedra, FL Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information. - Copyright 2007 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/15/2007 One day Georgina has a home, a best friend, and plenty to eat. The next, she’s living in a car with her mother and brother. Carrying on as usual isn’t possible: washing up in a restaurant bathroom, doing homework by flashlight, losing her friend. Mom works two jobs, but it’s not enough, so impatient Georgina decides to steal a dog, hoping to collect a reward. She picks her furry victim and makes careful plans—but she doesn’t count on her conscience. In stripped-down, unsentimental prose, Georgina tells her own story, her words making clear her vulnerability and heartbreak as well as her determination and pride. It’s puzzling why Mom doesn’t seek outside help for her desperate family, and the appearance of wise Mookie, a sort of transient deus ex machina, verges on excess. Yet in the end, 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 a moral quandary will surely generate discussion. - Copyright 2007 Booklist.