I recommend this book for: grade 3-5
Georgina has big problems - her father left the family and they got kicked out of their apartment, so she currently lives with her mother and little brother in their car. Mom is working two jobs, trying to save up enough for a new home, but meanwhile the three of them are washing up in public bathrooms, wearing the same clothes for days in a row, and parking in a different place every night. But then Georgina sees a poster offering a $500 reward for a lost dog, and she has a brilliant idea - she and her brother can steal a dog, then take it back for the reward money, and all of their problems will be solved! Right?
This was an okay story - Georgina isn't a character who really affected me, but it was great to see a book about homelessness for this age group - it's actually becoming a more common problem in our area, and as librarians, we see the homeless population, either coming in for help or just for a place to be out of the elements. Predictably, Georgina's plot doesn't work out the way she had hoped, and her guilty conscience persuades her to do the right thing - so the message is there, the side characters are pretty interesting, and the situation certainly has its drama . . . and still, the book wasn't one of my favorites. Oh well.