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by Lois Lowry

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-395-74521-7
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

In which Anastasia Krupnik gets a dog, attends a class in values, and inadvertently deposits a hag of dog poop in a public mailbox. "Suppose that in order to protect and save a small vegetable garden that would feed a hungry family for an entire summer, you were required to hit a groundhog over the head with a rock and kill it. Would you do so?" Anastasia grapples with this and other questions and considers herself wishy-washy because she can't come up with answers; every question raises a host of "What ifs?" in her mind. After realizing her mailbox mistake, Anastasia finds that the ethical questions become more personal. Should she call the post office and confess? Has she committed a federal offense? Will she go to jail? Her confession touches off surprising events, but in the end, Anastasia is sure she's done the right thing. As usual, Lowry (The Giver, 1993, etc.) delivers tight, page-turning prose, plenty of humor, and characters right out of readers' neighborhooods. (Fiction. 7-12)