Monday, January 19, 2009

Modern Monday -- Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech

Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech
Harper Collins, 2008

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
Harper Collins, 2001

The story of Jack begins in Love That Dog in Miss Stretchberry's classroom as the students learn about poetry. Initially Jack is very poetry resistant but his teacher introduces him to all kinds of great poets and he has an opportunity to actually meet Walter Dean Myers and all of this has a great impact on the young learner. The novel is a breeze to read since it's written in free verse poetry which feels almost more like a kind of one sided communication (Jack's voice) with his teacher.

In Hate That Cat, Jack is back for another school year and it turns out that Miss Stretchberry's advanced with her students. Jack sees this as a good thing and mentions it would be nice if she did that every year from now on. Of course they are back to learning about poetry and Jack focuses much of his poetic energy on a black cat that is making him miserable. If you loved the first one, you'll enjoy this continuation. Not only is this a book of poetry exploration and a struggle with Jack's feelings toward cats, and his questions about sounds and silence, it looks at Jack's relationship to his mother, just as the first book touched on his relationship with his father.

This is a link to Sharon Creech's "tidbits" page in which she tells all kinds of fun little facts about her books and their inspiration.

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