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Love That Dog (Jack #1)

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  30,789 Ratings  ·  3,461 Reviews
Sharon Creech tells a story with enormous heart. Written as a series of free-verse poems from Jack's point of view, Love That Dog shows how one boy finds his own voice with the help of a teacher, a writer, a pencil, some yellow paper, and of course, a dog. With classic poetry included in the back matter, this provides the perfect resource for teachers and students alike.

Paperback, 96 pages
Published June 30th 2003 by Scholastic, Inc. (first published 2001)
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Jennifer My kids were 7 and 9 when I read it to them. They totally got it and loved it. Me too.
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I don’t want to

Because boys

Don’t write poetry.

Girls do.

First page, first poem.
Makes me smile
But also makes me kinda
Do words in poem form
Make you sad?
I hope not
but I
if it does.

Love That Dog takes less than 3 minutes to read. Okay, maybe a bit more if you’re on your 4th glass of Sangria (but who’s counting) and you linger on phrases. Phrases like:

‘and jumping on me
his shaggy straggly paws
on my chest
like he was trying
to hug the inside
right out of me’

Poems, PO-EMS. They
Before reading, take a quick look at the short poems at the back of this book because the story will make more sense if you do.

I saw this book at my local library and couldn't resist the bright cover, the fact that it won multiple awards, was short-listed for the 2001 Carnegie medal and that the Guardian called it quirky, original and 'defies categorisations' sealed the deal. I later found out (after looking it up on GR) that Ms Creech also wrote Walk Two Moons, my favourite book growing up whi
Jan 01, 2017 Tabby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Why this book?
My cousin wanted to reminisce

What I thought

My Cousin actually read it to me. She used to read this to her baby girl who died of Cancer when she was 3. Today she just wanted to do something that reminded her of Anna. It was a a really cute book and I know why Anna loved it so much.
Jan 03, 2009 Eliece rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my all time favorites -- the SWEETEST little story written in journal format as a little boy learns to love poetry with the help of his teacher. It is cleverly written and fun to read. A good read-a-loud with your kids. warning -- you might cry!
Jul 15, 2015 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents, kids, teachers
Recommended to Margaret by: Jackie, a great fourth grade teacher
This is a second read-through of an entertaining and educational little book for children about writing poetry. It’s set in an elementary school classroom and begins with Jack writing a complaining note to his teacher that “boys / don’t write poetry. / / Girls do.” But, of course, it is no surprise that this boy will write poetry and at least some of it will be about a much-loved dog.

Apart from the relatively thin storyline, this book makes its point about the power of poetry (and of persisten
Jun 27, 2014 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Love that Book!

What a beautiful way to show how a child may slowly start to appreciate poetry by trying it out himself. The development is subtle, starting with aversion (I don't want to because boys don't write poetry. Girls do.), then copying of form, rhythm, meaningful lines from famous poets, finally first own authorship and proud signing of a poem: BY JACK!
I love the fact that Jack's first poem has a secret meaning we can't grasp until he has told the story of his beloved dog at the end of
Oct 13, 2016 Jacob_Tyler rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was probably the worst book I have ever read. So sorry if you liked it and found it emotional or something, but it was honestly terrible. The only good part about it was that it was short so I didn't have to stick with it that long. My biggest problem with this book was that it was set up funny and I couldn't stand it. You might like it if you really like poetry.
This was neither good story telling, nor good poetry writing.
The poems mentioned, though, were great. (Robert Frost! Love him)
Bebe Haase
Jul 23, 2016 Bebe Haase rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, re-read
This was a book I read when I was in Elementary School. I forgot about how much I loved it!

Update 11/11/16: still such a great book. I love reading it and it is super quick.

Apr 03, 2008 Joanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, young-adult
I love love love this book! It was my favorite by Sharon Creech until she published Heartbeat , and now I can't say which I like more. It is written entirely in free verse written in the school notebook of a boy who is a reluctant poetry pupil. The poetic form, believability of Jack (the main character), and the story he ultimately tells are simply smashing. This book would also be a great way to introduce young people to poetry; Jack's responses to a few well-known poems are written in his not ...more
Jamie Forrest
Jul 24, 2010 Jamie Forrest rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: december-2010, poetry
I was completely unprepared for the emotional toll this lovely book had on me. I had tears running down my face... I giggled... I held my breath... This was an absolutely eye-opening reading experience for me. I wish that I had had a Miss Stretchberry to teach me to love and write poetry as Jack does during this book.

Since I didn't have that opportunity, it makes me want to learn to be a bit more like Miss S. for my own students... If you have any other books I should read to inspire this kind o
i am loving
reading this book
because it's written
in free verse
and i write like that

i am reading it
with my cousin
who's in fifth grade
for her
summer reading
and i think
i like it
more than she does.

it's a funny, lovely
about poetry
and i hope
all the children
in the world
have a teacher
like Miss Stretchberry
who makes
fall in love

Oct 17, 2016 Paige rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
it was a super easy read although i wouldn't recommend it because it was not very interesting and it got really sad at the end.
Missy Kutyla
Oct 13, 2009 Missy Kutyla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I am so happy Dr. Junko Yokota suggested this novel to read because it is one of her favorites. I feel Sharon Creech , winner of the Newbery Medal for Walk Two Moons, took me to a place that was full of sounds, images, and forms. This short novel is a weekly journal entry from the point of view of Jack, a young student, initially appalled at the suggestions to read, let alone, write a poem. Each week a poem was recited to the class and his journaling about the assignment showed a progression of ...more
Review #2 - December 31, 2015

Read it out loud to my fifth graders. They didn't seem to love it as much as the fourth graders did. Doesn't matter, I still loved it. Fantastic book!

Review #1 - January 10, 2014
I love this book. I've read it several times and the last time I read it was to the fourth graders. They loved it as well. It's a very tender story about a boy and his dog, all told through poetry. Creech does an excellent job weaving famous poetry throughout the story. It was a great introdu
Jul 20, 2013 Mariah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I young my reading teacher read this book to the class and I did not appreciate the story. I thought it was a weird way for us to get into writing poetry. However, as an adult I read it to one of my students and really enjoyed it. I don't think my student understood the book or liked it as much as I did, but I found this to be a great read.

The main character, Jack, hates poetry, but when his teacher, Ms. Stretchberry, won't stop giving her class poetry assignments Jack had to do them. When
Love this book
Jun 05, 2017 Jamey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was AMAZING!! I love this book, so much. This book told the story of Jack and how he basically became a poet. He wrote poems as what I think as homework or some kind of mandate given from the teacher. He wrote about his dog and how he "Love That Dog":), and it was just a cute story as he grows from not knowing anything about poetry. He try different methods of poetry and how he loved this author and how he admired him. Overall this was awesome and it remember me of my yellow lab that died a ...more
May 31, 2017 Lucy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in one sitting. It was such an easy, sweet read. It was really fun and adorable. There's not really much to say about it other than it was really good.
Feb 04, 2012 Lacey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Love That Dog by Sharon Creech was such an adorable book. It was about a boy named Jack who did not want to or believe that he could write poetry. As the book continues Jack starts to write short little poems that he does not want anyone to know are his. Finally, he gets more comfortable writing poems and lets his teacher hang them up with his name on them to share with the class. Jack also gets to meet his inspiration Mr. Walter Dean Myers.
Sharon Creech did a good job of matching the sounds of
Brianne Vercellotti
Love That Dog is one of those quick reads that literally takes about ten minutes to finish, but stays in your mind for a much longer time after that. Losing a pet is always hard. For many people it's the equivalent of losing a best friend. I know exactly how that feels. My family lost our dog, Macey. I was very young at the time. This was one of the hardest things I ever experienced. Reading this book brought back a lot of memories. It will make any reader cry. I also know wha
Laura Noto
Nov 11, 2009 Laura Noto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Love that Dog is a book of poems for Third to Sixth graders. It features poems written by the main character, Jack. Most of the poems are directed toward his teacher, Miss Stretchberry. At first he doesn’t want to write poetry. He is embarrassed and ashamed of his work and he doesn’t feel like his poems are good. He gives his teacher permission to type and display them on the board, but he requests that his name is left off. As the book continues he starts modeling other poems that Miss
Ms. Gutner
1.) I liked this book because I felt that I was really able to connect with the main character, Jack. I am similar to Jack because I also didn’t want to write poetry and it took me time to be able to enjoy writing it. Just like Jack, I thought that “I couldn’t do it” (2). I also didn’t enjoy poetry at first because I didn’t understand it, just like Jack (3).

2.) You would like this book if you like dogs, especially If you really enjoy reading books and watching movies about dogs. If you have rea
Anna Smithberger
I've got to start by saying that I'm not much of a poetry person, never have been, especially free verse since I tend to see them as lyrical short stories. This is just me and my own weird poetry biases. This is also me being pretty sure that I am the only person who managed to make it through school without ever reading that red wheelbarrow poem. I can't explain how, but it is one of those odd things that frustrates me when it turns up.
On to the actual book. It was sweet and short, and I love a
Feb 21, 2016 Gina rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
When I was younger, before I took college classes which explained a heck of a lot more about poetry's worth than prior grades did, I hated poetry. But I always enjoyed this book; partly because I could relate to Jack (I hated it when teachers made us write 'poetry,' too), partly because it involved a dog, and partly, I suppose, because it's just well done, successfully leaving you with that sad acceptance Jack has come to feel.

As a bonus, it actually includes the poems it references, which I, fo
This is one of my very favorite books. I have read the whole book or at least parts of it to each class that I have taught, even my first graders. I have probably read it at least 10 times. It never gets old. I love animals, teaching, and I guess I can relate on many different levels.
Doug Bradshaw
Jul 01, 2011 Doug Bradshaw rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here's a fantastic, touching, 1/2 hour read showing how a young boy catches onto poetry and teaches us about love. Amazing. I want everyone to read this and report back. Thanks to you Bre for recommending it to me.
I enjoyed Love That Dog, but I wouldn't say it was better than crossover. I liked the structure of the book and the heading of the date and time that happened in. Overall I did like that book a little bit, but it's still a good book
Samantha Jeremiah
Rebecca McNutt
Love that Dog is certainly an interesting way to get kids interested in poetry, but I didn't really like the book's choppy sentence structure.
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I was born in South Euclid, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, and grew up there with my noisy and rowdy family: my parents (Ann and Arvel), my sister (Sandy), and my three brothers (Dennis, Doug and Tom).
For a fictional view of what it was like growing up in my family, see Absolutely Normal Chaos. (In that book, the brothers even have the same names as my own brothers.) Our house was not only full of
More about Sharon Creech...

Other Books in the Series

Jack (2 books)
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Share This Book

when you are trying
not to think about something
it keeps popping back in your head
you can't help it
you think about it
think about it
think about it
until your brain
feels like
a squashed pea.”
“I tried.
Can't do it.
Brain's empty.”
More quotes…