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How to Steal a Dog

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


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. This title has Common Core connections.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 02, 2007 – O'Connor (Me and Rupert Goody) blends her usual poignancy and insight in another tale set in a small North Carolina town. "The day I decided to steal a dog was the same day my best friend, Luanne Godfrey, found out I lived in a car," begins plucky Georgina. After her father "just waltzed off and left us with nothing but three rolls of quarters and a mayonnaise jar full of wadded-up dollar bills," Georgina, her mother and younger brother, Toby, were evicted from their apartment. The three now sleep in their old Chevy. Since her mother works two jobs, saving up for a place to live, Georgina takes care of Toby after school, while carefree Luanne attends ballet class and Girl Scouts with her new best friend. A poster announcing a $500 reward for a missing dog gives the heroine an idea for helping to secure lodging. She diligently writes in her notebook rules for stealing a dog, but they turn out to be more complicated than she anticipates. The devastated woman whose pet Georgina purloins (and who is not wealthy enough to furnish a reward) and a wise and caring homeless man Georgina meets also affect her plan. Speaking with at times heartbreaking honesty, this likable young narrator convincingly articulates her frustration, resentment and confusion as she comes to her decisions. O'Connor once again smoothly balances challenging themes with her heroine's strength and sense of humor. Ages 8-12.

Customer Reviews

How to steal a dog

Awesome book!I've read it 5 times!

How to steal a dog

How to steal a dog is a great book but sad too...we are reading it aloud in my class but , I already read the book by myself out off school I'm in 4th grade the author came to the Salem public library and talked to us with one other school I go to the Witchcraft Heights Elementarary School your a great author and your show don't tell advice was great I will be su to use your advice in my next piece of writing thanks for visiting my public library your books are great and your a big inspiration....and when you came your arm was broken so I hope it gets better:] and. I can't wait to read your next book coming out in 2012:] your books are great and so are you thanks mrs.oconnor<3

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How to Steal a Dog
View in iTunes
  • $4.99
  • Level: Grades 3-7
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Animals
  • Published: Apr 27, 2009
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 176 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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