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How to Steal a Dog

Barbara O'Connor (2009), 192 pages
Audience: 4th Grade - 6th Grade
Category: Animal, Especially for Girls, Fiction, Realistic Fiction
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According to an Aesop fable, the one about the hares and the frogs, 'There is always someone worse off than yourself.' Well Georgina Hayes figures that Aesop must have been stupid, because there was no one worse off than she. After her dad left the family with not enough money to pay the rent she, her mom, and her little brother had been living in their car. They cleaned up in the mornings in the bathroom at McDonold's or the drugstore or the pancake house and then went to school in wrinkled, dirty clothes. So when Georgina sees an old tattered sign offering a $500 reward for the return of someone's dog, she thinks she has the answer. After all stealing someone's dog to get a reward is OK if your really, really desperate. Or is it?
Awards nominated: Blue Stem Nominee 2011
Reviewed by: caroll
Date read: 5/5/2010
ISBN-10: 0312561121
ISBN-13: 9780312561123
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How to Steal a Dog

Barbara O'Connor (2007), 176 pages
Audience: 4th Grade - 6th Grade
Category: Animal, Especially for Girls, Fiction, Realistic Fiction
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Georgina and her mother and brother are living in their old car after being evicted from an apartment. They were left almost penniless when their dad/husband left. Georgina's mama is busy with two jobs while the kids are in school. Georgina wants to help mama and especially wants to quit living in the car; so she concocts a plan to do so. She plots all the steps to accomplish the plan but may have forgotten a step or two. This young girl is presented in a passionate way by the author. Will she develop a more keen sense of what's right when everything else seems wrong?
Awards nominated: Bluestem Nominee 2011
Reviewed by: cj
Date read: 7/12/2010
ISBN-10: 0374334978
ISBN-13: 9780374334970
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How to Survive Middle School

Donna Gephart (2010), 256 pages
Audience: Preschool - 8th Grade
Category: Fiction, Realistic Fiction
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David is hoping for the best summer ever. He and his best friend Elliott are going to spend their days making videos to post on YouTube and building awesome creations with their Knex sets. Unfortunately, Elliott has other plans. They finally have a mega fight on the last day before they begin their first year in middle school. How will David survive the maze of classes, bullies, swirlies and girls when his best bud has turned into his worst enemy?
Awards nominated: 2013 Rebecca Caudill Nominee
Reviewed by: caroll
Date read: 3/13/2012
ISBN-10: 038590701X
ISBN-13: 9780385907019
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How to Survive Third Grade

Laurie Lawlor (1988), 79 pages
Illustrated by Joyce Zarins
Audience: 2nd Grade - 3rd Grade
Category: Fiction, Realistic Fiction
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Ernest is not exactly the most popular kid in third grade. In fact, it's just the opposite. Can he help it if he is small for his age, or if his mom insists on giving him weird haircuts? No. Third grade is going to be a tough year. There must be something he can do to make it better.
Reviewed by: sc
Date read: 3/27/2009
ISBN-10: 0671677136
ISBN-13: 9780671677138
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I Am the Wallpaper

Mark Hughes (2007), 256 pages
Audience: 6th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Especially for Girls, Realistic Fiction
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Having always lived in the shadow of her fabulous older sister, thirteen-year-old Floey decides to reinvent herself, after her sister gets married, and moves away. Despite the success a new attitude, and some hair dye make, a major setback occurs when her cousin posts Floey's private diary on the Internet, and leaves her on her own to handle the disaster.
Reviewed by: sc
Date read: 3/27/2009
ISBN-10: 0440420466
ISBN-13: 9780440420460
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