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How to Steal a Dog

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  10,883 ratings  ·  1,233 reviews
"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 jug
Hardcover, 170 pages
Published March 20th 2007 by Farrar Straus Giroux (first published 2007)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  10,883 ratings  ·  1,233 reviews

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Rachel Bea
I would have cried a little, had I not been listening to this at work :)

Georgina and her family are recently homeless and living out of their car. Georgina is ashamed to live this way and lashes out toward her mother, who she blames, even though her mother is working multiple jobs and trying her best. The father is gone, and left them with nothing. Georgina has a younger brother named Toby.

Georgina finds an a missing dog poster with a reward of 500 dollars. She gets the idea to steal someone's
A. Riley
Jul 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This is a touching story that shined some light for me into the life of homelessness from a child's perpesctive. The main character, Georgina, deals with some tough times while living out of a car with her mother and younger brother. It is a real eye opener; reminding me not to take things for granted.

This is a must read for anyone who works with children, especially in a title I school setting. We may never know what our students are really going through outside of school.

2008-2009 Blueb
Lacey ♡☆ Ailene
Did as a read aloud with my class. There are just other books that I like more that do not flat out state the theme or message of the story.
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a very good book, some excellent topics for discussion with my 4th grade emotional support students. It was a little difficult in the middle because it was very uncomfortable as the main character was making some very bad choices but I was pleased with where the story ended. This book had a very real portrayal of homelessness and poverty from the perspective of a child. The emotions were well described and the story was realistic. I enjoy using literature that explores social issues and ...more
Lilli Gilliam
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is so sweet, and it has a purpose in this book world!

Georgina Hayes lives in her car with her brother Toby and her mother. She used to live in an apartment, but then her father left them with almost no money. One day, Georgina sees a sign that gives her hope. She starts to make plans to steal a dog. The more you stir, the more it stinks. This is what the siblings learn as they make plans and try to fulfill them. Stealing a dog is much harder than they expected, and then they meet the
Lyle Reinholz
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is great. It is a heavy read though. If your needing to steal a dog... this book may be for you.
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
What a great story for fostering empathy! I applaud Emma's 4th-grade teacher for choosing this book for their latest lit circle selection.

Here are my favorite quotes from the story:

"Where do you live?" I said. ...
He opened his arms wide and said, "Out here. Outside."
Mookie nodded. "Yep."
"How come?"
"'Cause I don't have to paint the air or tar-paper the sky or mop the ground. All I got to do is breathe." (p. 111)

"Smart ain't got a thing to do with school," he said. "I never went past six
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
How to Steal a Dog is about a young girl who is homeless and lives out of a car after her dead-beat dad leaves the family. She tries to keep up pretenses that her family is still intact and doing great, but her unkempt appearance from washing in public restrooms is causing suspicions. She hatches a plan to steal a beloved pet from a house where the mailbox name matches the name of the whole street - evidently a family of means. Each day, she teaches her little brother the on-going plan of kidnap ...more
Cairo Duran
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A Kearns library mother/daughter book club selection . . . read it in a day . . . a good, fun, enlightening read! Recommended for old and young alike!
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O'Connor is a middle school book about a family in crisis. Georgina's father has left the family without ... ANYTHING. The family, Mom, Georgina, and brother Toby become homeless and Mom is working to fix it. Georgina blames Mom and wallows in pity (she has a right to of course) believing that her mom should fix it, despite Mom trying. When you stop to think about how easy it would be to become homeless and broke, it is pretty frightening. How we all might have too much.... makes you stop and think. ...more
Hannah Jayne
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Aw. Dear. That was a lot.
Alfie Shuvro
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
i really loved it . u should read it.
Jan 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: younger-readers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marialena Vourthis
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think this book was good because I like dogs, and this book was very adventure -like and suprising. This book was about a girl named Georgina that lived in a car with her mom, and brother. Their dad left them and too all their money so now they live in a car. When the mom finally makes enough money to buy a house they get this really haunted looking house because that is all they can afford. Once they start to get settled in dog starts to run down the street and Georgina steels it. She hid the ...more
Jun 17, 2009 rated it did not like it
This book goes against everything I believe in...Not sure why I got it to read...

These kids (& mom) are homeless...the main character, a girl, is a complete brat and at one point even blames her mom for being a bad mother since they are homeless (dad took the money & left...yet it was mom's fault)...

She decides to steal a dog in order to get reward $$ and is befriended by the woman whose dog she stole...I admit...I skimmed it after just went against my entire belief system...

The end ca
This is an adorable childrens/middle grade book about a girl that finds her family in a bind when they lose their house and are living out of a car. Her inspiration to help get money to help her mom get them back into living in a home instead of the car comes from a lost dog poster offering a reward, and so the plan begins.
Apr 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
I got close to marking this novella as DNF, and moving on, but I preserved. I found the main character to be far too stuck-up for my liking, and her constant whining was rather irritating. The story developed quickly, and I'm glad at least that I didn't guess the big reveal at the end of the book. ...more
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
There is a girl called Georgina and she is poor. She lives in her car and she hates it. Then one day she sees and old lost dog poster that says reward 500 dollars and she thinks that if she stole a dog someone really loved them they would put up lost dog posters with reward signs and then they she , her mom, and her little brother Toby could get a place to stay. If you want to find out if Georgina’s plan worked then you should read this book.
Crystal Gutierrez
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I though this book was pretty amazing. this book is realistic fiction...........the title also sounds pretty interesting.SO..this book is about this little family...the mom,the little brother and the big sister.this family is kind of poor and the girl named Georgina wanted to steal a dog....I wouldn't steal a dog,would you?so anyways yeah she wanted to steal a dog to be able to get some money by selling it.I wonder what will she do with the money that she gets by selling the dog.......probably f ...more
Cody Randles
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
How to steal a dog by Barbara O'Conner is a book in the perspective of a young girl named Georgina. Who's family is struggling. Georgina, her brother, and her mother all live in a car because there father left them. Georgina has an idea that if she steals a dog she will get a reward for it and get good money. Soon to find out this isn't the case.

Georgina Hayes and her family are in need of hope after her father left them. They have been living in the same car and wearing the same clothes. Georgi
Oct 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: homelessness
Georgina, her younger brother and mother are living in their car after their father walked out on the family. Her mother is working two jobs trying to earn enough money to get them a place to stay. Georgina wants to help and comes up with the idea of stealing a dog in order to get a reward for returning it. She keeps a journal of the steps she and her brother take along the way which ultimately helps her learn many lessons.
Georgina feels pressures pile up as she falls behind in school, keeps sec
Salina King
I found this book to be very interesting and eye opening about homelessness and theft. While Georgina has the best intentions when she decides to steal a dog she learns that her actions affected others. This book is one I would use to show students that it is not okay to steal things and that regardless of your life situations there is always a positive if you look hard enough. Another aspect of this book that I enjoyed was how the author had characters in the book that helped Georgina come to t ...more
Lee Födi
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The teacher part of my brain loved this book for the avenues it's going to provide in my classroom for explorations about homelessness, community, compassion, morality, and justice. The premise of our protagonist, Georgina, wanting to steal a dog to make some quick cash so that she and her family can quit living in their car has touchstones that I think just about every kid will relate to. The writer part of my brain loves this book for the voice—it's immediate and striking and the reader can't ...more
Jun 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Audience: Intermediate
Appeal: This book is definitely targeted toward the upper intermediate levels. It questions morals of little girl who has to face the tough decision of doing what is crucial to survival or what is right. It is a good story line and easy to follow. Definitely recommend!
State: Hawaii--NeNe Award
Brandon Faust
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Georgina Hayes is a school-age girl that gets evicted from the apartment that she shares with her mama and her little brother Toby. Therefore, Georgina and her family are forced to live in their car until her mama can get enough money to buy their family a home. Nevertheless, one day after her mama parks their car in the vacant region of Darby, North Carolina, Georgina spots a missing dog sign. Furthermore, the missing dog sign offered a reward of five hundred dollars to anyone who returns the d ...more
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wow-books
This book is realistic fiction and I would use it in 4th and 5th grade. This book follows the life of a girl named Georgina who is trying to come up with a way to help her mom be able to afford a place for them to live. Currently, Georgina, her mom, and her brother are living in their car because their dad left them. Georgina is embarrassed that she lives out of her car and decides to steal a dog to get reward money for returning it. After she does this she starts to question her actions on if s ...more
Zachary Fisher
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book How to Steal a Dog was a very interesting story to read. I felt like this book would be great to read out loud to elementary kids. This book does a really nice job showing how the mom tries everything to make her kids happy.Since she is very busy with two jobs, that leaves the older sister to look after her younger brother while their mom is at work.
Since the family lives in their car and they want a place to call their own so bad, the kids try everything they can to try to get money s
Sandy Sopko
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grades
I thought this would be a humorous book, but this story is sometimes quite serious. Georgina, her brother and her mother are living in their car after her father leaves. The situation is quite desperate, and Georgina does not want anyone to find out how she is living. Of course, friends and their parents suspect something is happening with her. Georgina's mom is struggling to save enough money for a new apartment, but things keep happening (the car breaks down, etc.), so Georgina decides to kidn ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Girl lived in car with her Mom. A lost dog with a reward. Children’s fiction/Early teens book? Possible late 2000s publishing. [s] 5 360 Oct 01, 2020 08:44PM  
Pg. 1-11 1 4 Sep 22, 2020 08:01PM  
Animal Bookclub: How To Steal a Dog Book talk 1 3 Sep 05, 2017 08:04PM  
How to steal a dog 5 79 Feb 11, 2014 04:14AM  
How did you like the book? 10 28 Feb 07, 2014 05:19PM  
sad?????????? 5 19 Jan 18, 2012 08:56PM  

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Barbara O'Connor's awards include the Parents Choice Gold and Silver Award, American Library Association Notable Books, IRA Notable Books for a Global Society, School Library Journal Best Books, and Kirkus Best Books. Her books have been nominated for children's choice awards in 38 states and voted as a state favorite by children in South Carolina, Indiana, Kansas, and South Dakota.

Barbara was bor

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