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Kate Messner


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How to Steal a Dog PDF Print E-mail

What You Need to Know:
• How to Steal a Dog is a frank, unwavering look at issues facing many Americans today: homelessness,
  unemployment and a single parent home.  And, brilliantly, it's a children's book.
• The character development is in-depth and the issues they are facing are large. It is an excellent example of
  narrative writing, really well-written.
• While the actual difficulty of the text would probably fall into the Reader SR reading level, we have bumped it up to
  the Independent JR level due to the content.
• The content is real and raw and it happens to someone their own age, so you just want to monitor this book when
  you put it into a young reader's hands, checking in periodically to make sure they are feeling ok about the story.  
• This book makes a wonderful book club selection for parent/child book clubs.
Sweet Book Summary:
How To Steal a Dog is told from the point of view of a young girl. It is the story of her family's (single mom and little brother) struggles, which include homelessness, poverty and living in their car.  Georgina, our young heroine, sees a reward sign for a lost dog. She misguidedly thinks that if she steals a dog, waits for the reward sign to go up, and returns the dog, she will get enough money to give her mom a down payment for an apartment. 

Clearly, this doesn't work out. The owner of the dog Georgina steals is not much better off than they are. Even though from the curb the house looked like it would have an affluent owner, it turns out the woman is struggling nearly as much as Georgina and her family, which fills Georgia with guilt.  While trying to keep her homelessness a secret from her friends and holding a dog hostage, Georgina tries to pretend to all that everything is just fine. This book explores this journey, and is mainly about Georgina's conscience and doing the right thing. We root for Georgina, and want her to do the right thing (she does), but there are a lot of gray areas along the way. This makes for a wonderful discussion about ethics and values.
Author: Barbara O'Connor Illustrator: N/A Published: 2007, 192 pages
Themes: Feelings, Animals, Character/Values, Good Book Club Selection, Life-Challenges, Books for Boys
If You Liked This Book, Try:
Joey Pigza Loses Control, Jack Gantos
Rules, Cynthia Lord
18 Thursday, 22 October 2015 00:10
I read this book every year to my class - it is a beautifully write, poignant example of realistic fiction. It sends a great message (theme) - all of Mookie's quotes were great lessons in life. It teaches the reader that making difficult decisions and choices are not easy. It is a great book to use for learning figurative language and studying qualities of good writing. Don't miss this wonderful story that will touch your heart for sure.
17 Sunday, 22 March 2015 17:25
I love this book it is sad and I just really think you guys should get it.
LOVEEEEEEE THISSSS BOOOKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
16 Thursday, 13 March 2014 23:03
Best book i ever read
15 Wednesday, 12 March 2014 00:59
ali Sofyan
This is my lit circle novel book at school and i thought his will be so boring but this is the BEST BOOK I EVER READ IN MY WHOLE LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Loved it
14 Monday, 11 November 2013 00:13
I loved this book!!!!
Great Book
13 Thursday, 17 May 2012 23:33
I thought this book was amazing and would read it again! One thing i don't know is what the theme would be.
12 Friday, 30 March 2012 01:10
best book i ever read
11 Saturday, 25 February 2012 18:17
do they ever move back into an appartment
Creative! :)
10 Tuesday, 21 February 2012 20:53
Cami Johnson
"How to steal a dog," by Barbara O'Connor, is a great book because the story line and plot is easy to follow. One thing I would like to know who the protagonist and the antagonist characters in this book are. This is because I know that Georgina Hayes is the protagonist. If you did not know already, the protagonist is the character in the story that moves the story forward and the antagonist is the one that stops the protagonist from doing the thing that they want to do; sort of like being a villain. In this case Georgina is trying to steal a dog. So, the antagonist would be who is trying to stop her from stealing the dog. This person might be the mama or Carmella. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope that you figure out the antagonist character!
--Cami Johnson
9 Thursday, 05 May 2011 04:32
At my school u have to do a slide show of ur fav book and I chose 'HOW TO STEAL A DOG"!!!!!!!!!! :) :P
How to steal a dog
8 Tuesday, 03 May 2011 21:47
Katrina Collicott
i LOVE this book i did it for a report its an easy fun read!!
enjoyed it so much
7 Tuesday, 03 May 2011 02:04
This book is so good i am doing a book report on it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
6 Friday, 11 March 2011 21:08
i love this book sooo much that i've read it three times!!!!
5 Tuesday, 01 March 2011 00:44
I have read this book lots of times and never get tired of it.
4 Saturday, 27 November 2010 23:33
this book was amazing : )
love this book
3 Thursday, 07 October 2010 21:03
this book is amaZing i just finished reading today to my students
2 Wednesday, 22 September 2010 02:33
I love this book! :-)>
1 Saturday, 01 May 2010 22:30
This is agreat summary. I recommend it.

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