Maggie & Oliver or A Bone of One's Own

Valerie Hobbs; illustrations by Jennifer Thermes

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Maggie is always full of questions. But a young maid in a fine lady’s house isn’t supposed to wonder so much, so one day Maggie is thrown out into the street with only a tiny heart-shaped locket for a keepsake. Who is the lady in the locket? A little dog named Oliver is pushing his nose along an icy sidewalk searching for his lost mistress, or at least something to eat. No matter how hard he looks he can’t find either one, but he does see a girl with round blue eyes and a golden locket around her neck. The girl calls him “Lucky.” And perhaps Lucky is the right name after all, for the little dog soon helps Maggie find a warm, wonderful home of her own—and one for him, too.


Read an Excerpt

With his long, wet tongue, Oliver licked and licked Bertie’s cheek. “Wake up,” his tongue said. “It’s time to get up!”
But Bertie would not wake up. Her eyelids did not flutter. She did not groan and swat her hand at him. She did not say, “Oh, Oliver, you pesky dog.” She lay still beneath her quilt of many colors, and Oliver waited.
All night long, he had chased things in his dreams. Cats and trolley cars, snowflakes and tin cans. He had snored and snuffled, and his back legs ran and ran. Now he was hungry and


Praise for Maggie & Oliver or A Bone of One's Own

"…young fans of old-fashioned hard luck tales that end happily will snap this up.”--BCCB
“…[an] optimistic ending about survival and friendship.” --Booklist
“This is Victoriana with no steampunk shenanigans and no tongues in cheeks, just well-orchestrated, straightforward storytelling for newish readers—with a bonus of warm pencil drawings reminiscent of Lois Lenski.” --Horn Book Magazine
"A warm story about friendship, but it’s also an introduction to the treatment of children and animals in the early 1900s." --School Library Journal
"A touching and emotionally satisfying foundling tale.” --Kirkus Reviews

In the Press

MAGGIE & OLIVER by Valerie Hobbs, Jennifer ThermesKirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of MAGGIE & OLIVER or A Bone of One's Own. In 1905 Boston, a 10-year-old orphan finds herself on the streets (with a mysterious golden locket), as does a just-orphaned dog, in this heartwarming story about a search for home under rough conditions.
- Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Valerie Hobbs; illustrations by Jennifer Thermes

  • Valerie Hobbs is the recipient of the 1999 PEN/Norma Klein Award, a biennial prize that recognizes "an emerging voice of literary merit among American writers of children's fiction." She is the author of young adult and middle-grade novels including Sheep, Defiance, Anything but Ordinary, and The Last Best Days of Summer. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in English from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she has taught academic writing. Valerie lives in Santa Barbara, California, with her husband. Jennifer Thermes lives in an old house with her husband and children, three cats, one Dalmatian dog, and countless mice. She is a graduate of the Parsons School of Design.
  • Valerie Hobbs
  • Jennifer Thermes


Available Formats and Book Details

Maggie & Oliver or A Bone of One's Own

Valerie Hobbs; illustrations by Jennifer Thermes