Michael’s Letter Essay #5: Love That Dog

I have just finished reading Love That Dog, an 86 paged poetry novel written by Sharon Creech. Love That Dog was a New York Times bestseller book and also won the Carnegie Medal Commended Book award. Sharon Creech has also written 19 other novels and children’s books such as Hate That Cat and The Wanderer.

The novel is about a young boy named Jack. Jack’s perception about the idea of “poems” drastically changes throughout the short novel. Love That Dog starts out as Jack not intrigued in his class unit of poetry. Jack thought that “poetry was for girls” and was not interested to the idea of writing poetry of his own. Jack ends up listening to the poems being read in class by his teacher Ms. Stretchberry, and Jack is then intrigued by a writer, Walter Dean Myers. The novel then ends up with Jack sending letters to Walter Dean Myers and with Jack writing a poem about his deceased dog named Sky – (Love That Dog). Walter Dean Myers’s poem “Love That Boy” really inspired Jack to write about Sky and be more open to the idea of poetry. Towards the end of the book Jack was proud of his work and to share it with his classmates as well as Miss Stretchberry

I choose this book because I saw several other classmates reading the book and I also received several recommendations. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking to fill their poetry book requirement. I was glad that I read Love That Dog because usually I’m not open to reading poetry novels, but this book was different from what I expected.

The structure of the book was very different than what I was use to. The book was in a poetry lay out, but at the same time it clearly portrayed a story with characters and settings in detail. I noticed how the author sometimes repeated a scene to show significance to that part of the book. The climax of the plot was definitely towards the end of the book.

Quoted Passage: “Love that dog, like a bird loves to fly, I said love that dog, like a bird loves to fly, Love to call him in the morning, love to call him … “Hey there, Sky” I chose this “passage” because this was Jack’s actual poem that he wrote and shared with his class. This quote is significant because this poem supports the central idea of the book, which is Jack’s dog Sky. I would rate this book an 8/10.

Michael Farnen 1/28/16

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