How to Steal a Dog

by Barbara O’Connor
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

When Georgina’s father leaves the family, her mother is forced to live out of their car with Georgina and her little brother, Toby. But ever-resourceful Georgina decides that a good way to earn some quick money for rent would be to steal a dog, wait for the reward poster to go up, and return it and claim their reward. However, she eventually learns a lesson in compassion and sees that things are not always so black-and-white.

The kids in my library’s 4th-6th grade book club often choose and enjoy this book. It’s one of those books that is definitely taking a walk in someone else’s shoes, especially for most of the kids in my library’s town, a fairly well-off suburb. Georgina is very likeable and her reasons are understandable, if misguided. The struggles she has with her mother, whom she blames for their situation, as well as her description of what life is like living out of a car, are very realistic and compassion-evoking.

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