Some of you may have recently read the post I had about the author, Barbara O'Connor, who wrote about reading my blog on her own blog. Oddly enough I had just checked out her book How to Steal a Dog from my local library. I waited the entire summer to get my hands on that book! It was ordered in June, but did not surface until about a week ago.
Now, I promise I am not saying this just because Ms. O'Connor may read this blog, but the book was perfect! I am always looking for books that are just right for a fifth grader and this is one of them. The moral of this story can be summed up in this line from book, "I guess bad times can make a person do bad things, huh?" To give you an idea of what those bad things are, listen to this perfect grabber lead "The day I decided to steal a dog was the same day my best friend, Luanne Godfrey, found out I lived in a car.
The story has wonderful messages about morality and it takes a daring look at homelessness, a topic not often talked about in children's literature. I just know there is a kid out there, in your room, in your life, in your mind, who has felt hopeless and helpless and possibly done something out of the ordinary to deal with this pain. The story also has the main character, Georgina, writing in a notebook as well. HOW AWESOME?!
The book is a quick read with an easy to follow, but not overly predictable plot. The vocabulary is not over-done for a read aloud for the fourth and fifth grade crowd. Even though the idea of stealing a dog isn't exactly moral, I would say any fifth grade student could see through that to the real point of the story.
I will be asking my school librarian to get this book on our bookshelves in a hurry. I just know as soon as I show to my students, they are going to be racing to the shelves!