Novel: Love That Dog
Author: Sharon Creech
Target Audience: 8 to 12 years
Genre: Realistic; novel-in-verse
Publication Year: 2001
Setting: Miss Strechberry’s classroom; contemporary
A Favorite Quote: “I tried. Can’t do it. Brain’s empty.”
My One Sentence Summary: While Jack initially rebels against writing, over the course of a school year, he discovers a deep appreciation for poetry.
What I loved about this book: As a teacher, I love this book. The main character is totally relatable in his struggles to write. The book also contains many references to famous poets and poetry (William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost, William Blake, etc.) which provides a great starting point for class discussion or as models for students creating their own poems. The novel is short and sweet—it’s a fun and inspirational read.
Major themes: Poetry as a form of self-expression; grief—and using writing as a means to work through grief
Who should read this book: Love That Dog is a quick, but poignant read. Perfect for kids who need encouragement or inspiration as writers.
Hate That Cat