Saturday, July 6, 2013

How to steal a dog by Barbara O'Connor

This book, How to steal a dog, has a terrific cover which is why I picked it up today.  I read this whole book in one sitting and I have to say this is a wonderful story.  It is not a new book - first published in 2007 but it will be new into our school library next term.

Georgina, her mum and brother Toby have been evicted from their apartment and are now forced to live in their car.  Georgina is a resourceful girl and so when she sees a missing dog poster that offers a $500 reward she hits on a brilliant plan.  If she could steal a dog from a wealthy owner perhaps she could claim the reward and then the family would have enough money to move back into an apartment.

To this end Georgina makes lists of all the tasks involved in completing her plan :

April 5th ...
Step 1: Find a dog ...
These are the rules for finding a dog :
1. The dog must not bark too much.
2. The dog must not bite.
3. The dog must be by itself sometimes.
4. The dog must be loved a lot and not just some old dog that no one cares about
5. The owner of the dog must look like somebody who will pay a lot of money to get their dog back."

She finds the perfect little dog called Willy.  He seems to meet all her criteria but there also seem to be so many more things Georgina needs to think about - how to find a rope for the dog, where to hide him, then there is the issue of food and water.  Then Georgina meets Carmella Whitmore and she discovers some uncomfortable truths about appearances.  Carmella does have the same name as the road where she lives and her house is large but Carmella is poor.  Little Willy is her special friend. She is inconsolable without him.  Sadly it seems Georgina has created a problem that she cannot solve.

I highly recommend How to Steal a Dog and you might like to keep an eye out for the movie which will surprise and delight you.  It was made in Korea and I recently watched it while flying from Singapore. The cover below shows a slightly different title but the movie I watched did match the book.  Hopefully it will reach us here in Australia some time soon.  You might also like to dip into the author web site.

If you enjoy How to steal a dog you might also like to read Too Small to Fail by Morris Gleitzman, Hold Fast by Blue Balliett and for more mature readers take a look at The Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt.

Here is a quote from the review by Kirkus.

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