This whole book bothered me! I was particularly bothered that there was no adult -- a teacher for example -- who stepped in and recognized a very evident child welfare problem that needed to be addressed. I was also confused that the mom didn't seek help from any social service agencies. She was trying her best -- she worked two jobs for goodness sakes -- and I understand a fear of CPS, but these kids needed HELP!
Sorry, was interrupted. The author did a very good job of showing her feelings, the mom's feelings and the younger brother. As well as Willy's owner. Willy the dog was just just as cute as can be from the description. I also liked the whole reasoning out the stealing the dog and the problem solving thoughts of the lists and then Georgina's conclusions. I like the strange character of the homeless bicycle guy (forget his name) how he helps but let's Georgina figure out her own choices. Since it's from Georgina's point of view, there may be involvement of an agency with the teacher and mom, but Georgina just isn't aware of it. The teacher has to know something, but what and how isn't revealed. The whole concept of homelessness and neglect is very real and disturbing. It is handled well here. I'm not sure if I'd put it top of the list. But on the list for sure.
I can't say that I enjoyed this book, but I think the author does what she set out to do very well. Thankfully, there is a hope and forgiveness in the story's end. Georgina is painfully real. Her situation is painfully real. I dreaded all the bad ways it could end the entire time I was reading it.
The perspective in this book is dead on. Georgina’s conclusions and speculations, misguided as they are, are consistent with eleven-year-old thought patterns. The biggest mistake I see in children fiction is when the author makes the protagonist too self-aware or perceptive for his or her age. Barbara O’Connor nails it. The characters are fully developed, delightful, and genuine. That being said, it is a squirmathon. The family’s situation is so dismal; you are tempted to call social services. Georgina’s actions are at times completely reprehensible. It is hard to watch someone you are growing to love make such bad choices. Although the overall tone of the book is not gloomy, I tend to shy away from shoving this much reality at children. I don’t ever want any child to have to listen to a mother cry out that she is helpless to help her children. I know it happens, I don’t know if reading about it at an elementary age helps. I’m torn about this book. Quality wise it deserves tons of respect, content wise, it should have a disclaimer.