Downloadable Literature Guides

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How to Steal a Dog
by Barbara O'Connor

I was a normal kid like you. I lived with my parents and little brother. I had friends at school. Then one day, my father left us, and it wasn't long before there was no money. They kicked us out of our apartment. We each put what we could carry into a plastic bag and moved into our old car. We were homeless.

No place to wash.
No refrigerator.
No stove.
No clean clothes.
No place to do homework.

Mama had two jobs, but we still couldn't afford a home.

Then, one day, I saw a sign. Lost Dog. Reward $500. I had an idea. I would steal a dog. The owner would offer a reward. I would return the dog and get the reward. We could move into a house! I carefully planned the steps I needed to take. Each step had its own rules I had to follow. What could go wrong? I would be a transformer...I would make things better. Or, would I?

It is estimated that there are over one million homeless children in the United States today, and the number is expected to grow. Homelessness makes children sick. Homeless children make poor decisions. Homelessness wounds young children. Homelessness devastates families. Homeless children struggle in school. Georgina's story is one that brings the problem to the surface.


Research Links for

How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O'Connor

Author Barbara O'Connor's Website

Steps to Success


United Way

Books by the Same Author:

Fame and Glory in Freedom Georgia by Barbara O'Connor

How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O'Conner with Kids' Wings


Related Literature

Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart by Vera B. Williams

Where I'd Like to Be by Frances O'Roark Dowell

So B. It by Sara Weeks

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Curtis

How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O'Connor

A 24-Page Unit for How to Steal a Dog is a part of a collection of 24 units in Transformers.

The Unit Contains:
PRE-READING Discussion Cards
Anticipation Guide
Readers’ Theater Script
Making Connections A Pre- and Post-Reading Discussion Guide
Readers' Theater Quartet Reading
15-Second Summaries
TRANSFORMERS: Things that Change
Crossword Puzzle
Transforming Figurative Language to Pictures, 2 pages
Character Changes/Transformations
Multiple Choice Comprehension Activities
Chapter 10, Willy's Point of View
Comprehension Check-Up, Chapter 11, Multiple Choice
Research Project: Helping Homeless Children
The Trail Behind Him: A Logic Puzzle
Transforming Language with Pronouns (Pronoun Song)
Mock Trial: Georgina Goes to Trial, 2 pages
Courtroom Ballad to the tune of "Froggie Went a Courtin'"
Discussion /Writing Prompts
Answer Pages


How to Steal a Dog is one of the literature guides in the Kids Wings Transformers collection. Transformers contains more than 24 literature guides in the spiral-bound book with CD, recorded songs, and site license for one school, you'll find over 6 recorded songs, and 9 Jeopardy-type games. That's only about $ 1.04 per unit! You'll love the books and will never get a better bargain on these professional literature guides written by a master teacher. Available while our supply lasts.


We are grateful to the very talented siney_yi for allowing us to use his original music "Shall We Talk" as our background music.


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How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O'Connor NOW!
Interdisciplinary Learning Units for Grades 3-7 are available in the new publication: 


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