A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Introduces kids to the power of poetry and expressing thoughts and feelings in free verse. Shows how written journal entries can add up to a story. Jack’s class assignments incorporate responses to eight famous poems, which are all included in an appendix. A school visit from author Walter Dean Meyers figures in the story.
Writing can help you process your feelings. Free verse and poetry can be an easier way to express your feelings than writing prose.
Positive Role Models
Jack's teacher, Miss Stretchberry, encourages him to write and opens his mind to poetry. Jack is anti-poetry at first but then grown to appreciate it over the course of the school year and opens up about his feelings. He had a loving relationship with his dog, Sky.
Violence & Scariness
References to the circumstances of Sky's death.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Love That Dog by Sharon Creech is told in the form of a boy's free-verse journal entries. The boy, Jack, expresses his feelings on all sorts of things, but especially about his late dog, Sky. The book packs a load of emotional and intellectual depth into a very accessible package. Great for reluctant readers, and may inspire all readers to appreciate and try their hand at poetry.
Is It Any Good?
In this minor masterpiece, author Sharon Creech accomplishes so much with so little -- no synopsis can convey what makes this book so involving, moving, uplifting. She captures a story, a voice, a mind, a heart. She inspires readers to write their own poems and gives a meaningful demonstration of the power of the form.
While the poems at first seem unconnected, the book is in fact tightly structured, and all the way through Creech is unobtrusively weaving together strands that come poignantly together in an emotional climax. Although many children will finish this book in one or two sittings, it bears numerous rereadings and much fruitful discussion, and is a gift to parents and teachers of reluctant readers who want to help their children learn to delve more deeply into literature.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.