Beth's Reviews > Love That Dog

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
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Feb 10, 2015

it was amazing
bookshelves: middle-grade, poetry, favorites, novels-in-verse, in-classroom-library
Recommended for: poetry skeptics, poetry lovers
Read in February, 2008 , read count: 4

From the moment you begin reading Love That Dog by Sharon Creech, you realize this isn’t going to be your typical novel.

The reason? It’s not written in prose, but rather, free verse. The entire book is written as one long poem.

That poem is written by Jack. He’s a student in Miss Stretchberry’s class. And from the very first page, we come to realize that Jack is having poetry forced upon him against his will when he says:

I don’t want to

Because boys

Don’t write poetry.

Girls do.


As the book progresses, we follow Jack on his journey of discovery of the wonders of poetry. At first he write poetry begrudgingly, but slowly we begin to see Jack’s progression as a poet and someone who appreciates poetry. We first begin to see his transformation when after Miss Stretchberry reads a Robert Frost poem, he says:

I really really really

Did NOT get

The pasture poem

You read today.

I mean:

Somebody’s going out

To the pasture

To clean the spring

And to get

The little tottery calf

While he’s out there

And he isn’t going

To be gone long

And he wants YOU

(who is YOU?)

to come too.

I mean REALLY.


The irony of this tangent is that Jack says he doesn’t understand the poem, but as he’s talking through it, you come to realize he understands more than he lets on. And it’s through his development as a reader and writer of poetry that we soon discover he is able to write through a painful experience he went through to help him better understand his feelings about what happened.

However you feel about poetry, this book has something for both sides of the argument. When I first read this book a few years ago, I was not a fan of poetry, and this book changed my mind. Even if you still hate poetry I guarantee you by the end of this book you at least appreciate the way this book was written (i.e., since it’s written as a poem, it takes less time to read!)
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