Barbara O’Connor’s How to Steal a Dog blew critics away and quickly became a fan-favorite.
After being abandoned by her father, Georgina Hayes is forced to spend much of her time watching her younger brother, while their mother works two jobs to make ends meet. When she sees a missing-dog poster offering a $500 reward, Georgina cooks up a scheme to steal a look-a-like dog and claim the reward. But things don’t quite go as planned.
“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.” (School Library Journal, starred review)
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In reading "How To Steal A Dog" I was looking for a fun, escape type, read that might also help me think about a family member of mine that is not successful in life. The book was light hearted and fun, while reflecting a view of homelessness that I had never thought of, namely an adolescent view. Teenagers have enough to deal with in our culture with out adding homelessness to the mix. I enjoyed the basic ideas put forth by the daughter, because they sensitized me, somewhat, to both the presence and problems of homeless teens.
I enjoyed the ending, because it revitalized old maxims of hard work, faith in goodness, and honesty. These are shmultzy ideas, but I think our world has lost faith in them. We might have even lost sight of them. Does anyone value "hard work"?
My favorite scene was the discovery of a repaired car. Again it is shmultzy, but actually true enough in real life. I have personally benefited from the ravings of a homeless man once in my life. I found that odd.
I only rated this story with three stars, because it is ultimately a distasteful idea, namely the idea of stealing a pet. It never really overcame the horror of that. I did enjoy the book and may read it again someday, but only lightly recommend it.
- James "Love the book as a window. Shocked by the number of definitions for the word "turn". Widowed and sad, but thankful. Trying hard to be useful. Have 28 years as a step-father to a fantastic grand-daughter and a not so fantastic drug addicted, step-daughter. Oddly focused on the fun of preparing to die well, and help those left behind, while eating, hot springing, and reading for pleasure."
- l robinson