Skip to main content
Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
How to Steal a Dog

How to Steal a Dog

A Novel

Barbara O'Connor

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

BUY THE BOOK

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.

Colorado Children's Book Award Master List, TN Intermed Volunt State Book Award ML, Wyoming Indian Paintbrush Book Award Master List, IRA Notable Books for a Global Society, Iowa Children's Choice Award Master List, Booklinks Lasting Connection, Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award ML, Illinois Bluestem Book Award, Rhode Island Children's Book Award ML, Tennessee Intermediate Volunteer State Book Award Master List, CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI), South Carolina Children's Book Award ML, NCSS-CBC Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, North Carolina Children's Book Award ML, Parents' Choice Award Winner, Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, Illinois Bluestem Book Award ML, OR Battle of the Books Master List, South Dakota Prairie Pasque Children's Book Award Master List, Parents' Choice Honor Books, South Carolina Children's Book Award, Kentucky Blue Grass Award Master List, South Carolina Children's Book Award Master List, SD Prairie Pasque Child Book Award, Minnesota Maud Hart Lovelace Book A ML, Washington Sasquatch Reading Award ML, School Library Best Books of the Year, Indiana Young Hoosier Award Master List, Nebraska Golden Sower Award Master List, School Library Journal Best Books of the Year, Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award Maser List, Rhode Island Children's Book Award Master List, Kansas William Allen White Award Master List, Hawaii Nene Book Award Master List, Minnesota Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award Master List, NCSS-CBC NotableTrade-Soc.Stdy, Louisiana YR Choice Book Award Master List, Wyoming Indian Paintbrush Book Award ML, Kansas William Allen White Award, Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award Master List, North Carolina Children's Book Award Master List, Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice A. ML, Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List, South Dakota Prairie Pasque Children's Book Award

1
The day I decided to steal a dog was the same day my best friend, Luanne Godfrey, found out I lived in a car.
I had told Mama she would find out sooner or later, seeing as how she's so nosy and all. But Mama had rolled her...

Praise for How to Steal a Dog

“Will keep youngsters totally engaged. This novel's gentle storytelling carries a theme of love and emphasizes what is really right in the world.” —STARRED, School Library Journal

“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 moral quandary will surely generate discussion.” —Booklist

“Georgina's . . . how-to journal will have kids anticipating her misconceptions about the realities of theft and deception. A powerful portrayal from an innocently youthful perspective . . .A suspenseful and achingly realistic story.” —Kirkus Reviews

“O'Connor knows how to spin a touching story, and reading this novel is its own reward.” —The Horn Book

“O'Connor once again smoothly balances challenging themes with her heroine's strength and sense of humor.” —Publishers Weekly

“Will give a more privileged audience much to ponder.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“A must-have for a classroom library.” —IRA

-

Reviews from Goodreads

Barbara O'Connor

Barbara O'Connor is the author of numerous acclaimed books for children, including Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia; Me and Rupert Goody; and Greetings from Nowhere. She has been awarded the Parents' Choice Gold and Silver Awards, the Massachusetts Book Award, and the Dolly Gray Award, among many honors. As a child, she loved dogs, salamanders, tap dancing, school, and even homework. Her favorite days were when the bookmobile came to town. She was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, and now lives in Duxbury, Massachusetts, a historic seaside village not far from Plymouth Rock.

image of Barbara O'Connoro
Photo by Scott Treadway

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Latest on Facebook

LATEST ON TWITTER