Thursday, June 4, 2009

How to Steal a Dog

Yesterday, I noted to a few teacher librarians that this week first I read a novel entitled How to Steal a Car (see earlier entry) and then one entitled How to Steal a Dog. How to Steal a Dog ,an award winning book by Barbara O'Connor, is a great novel for intermediate students about a girl, Georgina, whose dad has walked out on the family so that her mom and Georgina and her younger brother, Toby are forced to move out of their apartment into their car, something they don't want anyone to know. Mom is working two jobs, trying to get enough money for a deposit for a new place. Needless to say this is rough on Georgina and Toby. She sees a flyer advertising a $500 reward for finding a lost dog. That dog has been found but this gives her the idea to find a dog belonging to someone who appears to have money and then "find" the dog and get the reward which will enable her family to have a decent place to live again. Careful planning is involved and executed but needless a few things go wrong then right. I think this would be a great real aloud for fourth and fifth graders as there is so much potential for discussion. I know the idea that children their age in many countries have to work to help to support their families was a bit of a revelation to the students with whom I worked at Cavell. This book enables students to enter the world of a child who is just like them but due to circumstances ends up in a difficult situation. A perfect book for developing empathy and understanding.

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