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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
typed up
like that."

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)

Christopher Award

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

Product Details

Imprint: HarperCollins

Format: Hardcover

On Sale: 07/24/2001

ISBN: 9780060292874

ISBN10: 0060292873

Pages: 112

Trimsize: 7.500 x 5.250 in


JUVENILE FICTION / Stories in Verse


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.

love that dog

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.

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