Love That Dog
By Sharon Creech
The Newbery Medal-winning author of Walk Two Moons, Sharon Creech, brings readers a story with enormous heart. This middle grade book is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. It’s a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.
Love That Dog shows how one boy named Jack finds his voice with the help of a teacher, a pencil, some yellow paper, and of course, a dog. Written as a series of free-verse poems from Jack's point of view, and with classic poetry included in the back matter, this novel is perfect for kids and teachers, too.
Jack hates poetry. Only girls write it and every time he tries to, his brain feels empty. But his teacher, Miss Stretchberry, won't stop giving her class poetry assignments—and Jack can't avoid them. But then something amazing happens. The more he writes, the more he learns that he does have something to say.
"I guess it does
look like a poem
when you see it
Praises & Awards
Kirkus (*Starred Review*)
“A really special triumph.”
Publishers Weekly (*Starred Review*)
“Readers will love that dog, and this book.”
School Library Journal (*Starred Review*)
“A poignant, funny picture of a child’s encounter with the power of poetry. This book is a tiny treasure.”
New York Times Book Review
“Sharon Creech has achieved more than one impressive feat here.”
“Eventually, Jack learns that poetry might be just the way to process some things in his life. This book, and Miss Stretchberry, are magic.” One of the 11 Best Teachers in Children’s Literature
Volunteer State Book Award (Tennessee)
Great Stone Face Book Award (New Hampshire)
Maine Student Book Award
Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award (Vermont)
IRA/CBC Children's Choice
Mitten Award (Michigan)
Carnegie Medal Finalist
Amazon.com Editors’ Pick
Publishers Weekly Best Book
Book Sense Pick
New York Public Library's “One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing”
School Library Journal Best Book
Notable Children’s Book in the Language Arts (NCTE)
ALA Notable Children’s Book
On Sale: 07/24/2001
Trimsize: 7.500 x 5.250 in
JUVENILE FICTION / Stories in Verse
JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Dogs
JUVENILE FICTION / School & Education
Walter Dean Myers’ poem, “Love That Boy,” has hung on my bulletin board for years. It’s at eye level, so I probably glance at it a dozen times a day. I love that poem—there is so much warmth and exuberance in it. (The poem is reprinted at the back of Love That Dog.)
One day as I glanced at this poem, I started thinking about the much-loved boy in Myers’ poem. I wondered what that boy might love. Maybe a pet? A dog? Maybe also a teacher? And whoosh—out jumped Jack’s voice.
Our straggly shaggy dog, Tia
When I wrote this story, I’d only met Walter Dean Myers once. I suspected early on in writing this story that Myers’ poem would be important to Jack, but I was surprised when Walter Dean Myers himself entered the story. I was worried about that—not sure if I could have a living person as a character in my story. I tried to get Walter Dean Myers out of the story, but his absence left a big, empty hole. The whole story pivots on his poem and his influence on Jack.