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A touching story about a girl and her dog, perfect for young animal lovers
Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has been making the same secret wish every day since fourth grade. She even has a list of all the ways there are to make the wish, such as cutting off the pointed end of a slice of pie and wishing on it as she takes the last bite. But when she is sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, it seems unlikely that her wish will ever come true. That is until she meets Wishbone, a skinny stray dog who captures her heart, and Howard, a neighbor boy who proves surprising in lots of ways. Suddenly Charlie is in serious danger of discovering that what she thought she wanted may not be what she needs at all.
From award-winning author Barbara O'Connor comes a middle-grade novel about a girl who, with the help of a true-blue friend, a big-hearted aunt and uncle, and the dog of her dreams, unexpectedly learns the true meaning of family in the least likely of places.
This title has Common Core connections.
About the Author
Barbara O’Connor is the author of numerous acclaimed books for children, including Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia, How to Steal a Dog,The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis, and The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester. She has been awarded the Parents’ Choice Gold and Silver Awards, the Massachusetts Book Award, the Kansas William Allen White Award, the South Carolina Children's Book Award, the Indiana Young Hoosier Award, the South Dakota Children's Book Award, and the Dolly Gray Award, among many honors. As a child, she loved dogs, salamanders, tap dancing, school, and even homework. Her favorite days were when the bookmobile came to town. She was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, and now lives in Asheville, North Carolina.
“O’Connor (How To Steal a Dog) pens a touching tale of resilience sure to resonate with children who have ever felt like they didn’t belong...Feeling kinship with a stray dog, Charlie is overcome with desire to give ‘Wishbone’the loving home she, too, is desperately searching for. When Wishbone disappears and she is compelled to search for him, Charlie learns there are people worth holding on to and what you wish for may not be what you really want...Poignant and genuine, this is a tale that will resonate with readers long after they finish it and have them cheering for the underdogs—both of the two-legged and four-legged varieties.” —School Library Journal
“At school, at home, and in the community, the characters and settings are well drawn, but it’s the narrator’s convincing, compelling voice that will draw readers into the novel and keep them there until her wish finally comes true.” —Booklist
“The many ways [Charlie] wishes form something of a catalog of folk and family traditions and are delightful all by themselves....Speaking in an honest voice revealing her hurt, resentment, and vulnerability, Charlies explains how her wish comes true. A warm, real, and heartfelt tale.” —Kirkus Reviews
“O’Connor again finds the sweet spot for young readers who are beyond early chapter books but not quite ready for the cynicism and/or complexity of much tween-into-teen lit. Bertha, Gus, and the Odoms are certainly awash in goodness, but their big-heartedness never devolves into sentimentality.” —The Bulletin of the Center of Children's Books
“O’Connor has the setting and colloquial mountain speech down pat, but most important, she gets at the heart of Charlie’s unhappiness, showing that wishes may come true, but perhaps not in the ways we expect.” —The Horn Book
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