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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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Hundred Dresses

Eleanor Estes (2004), 96 pages
Illustrated by Louis Slobodkin
Audience: 2nd Grade - 5th Grade
Category: Classic, Especially for Girls, Fiction
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Wanda Petronski only has one faded blue dress that she wears to school every day. One day, Wanda boasts that she has 100 dresses at home in her closet. After that, Peggy and the other girls tease Wanda about her dresses. Maddie feels bad about the teasing, but does nothing to stop it. After Wanda disappears from school, Maddie regrets standing by while she was treated unkindly. The surprising ending shows that Wanda wasn't making things up, after all. This is a gentle book with a powerful message about kindness and accepting those who are a bit different.
Awards won: Newbery Honor book 1945
Reviewed by: msp
Date read: 10/7/2010
ISBN-10: 0152051708
ISBN-13: 9780152051709
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Hungry Year

Connie Brummel Crook (2001), 201 pages
Audience: 5th Grade - 7th Grade
Category: Fiction, Historical
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In 1787, twelve-year-old Kate, and her family, move from Albany, NY to Canada. Unfortunately, Kate's mother and grandmother die, leaving her to raise her brothers on the Canadian frontier. Also look for the sequel, The Perilous Year.
Reviewed by: sc
Date read: 4/13/2009
ISBN-10: 077376206X
ISBN-13: 9780773762060
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