As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

May 24, 2011

LOVE THAT DOG by Sharon Creech, 2001

Love That DogNewbery Medal winner Sharon Creech's Love That Dog, a funny, sweet, original short novel written in free verse, introduces us to an endearingly unassuming, straight-talking boy who discovers the powers and pleasures of poetry. Against his will. After all, "boys don't write poetry. Girls do." What does he say of the famous poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"? "I think Mr. Robert Frost / has a little / too / much / time / on his / hands." As his teacher, Ms. Stretchberry, introduces the canon to the class, however, he starts to see the light. Poetry is not so bad, it's not just for girls, and it's not even that hard to write. . . . Jack's reverence for the poem ultimately leads to meeting the poet himself, an experience he will never forget. (Amazon)

Reviewed by Emily, mother and aspiring writer

For me, this is the sole book that falls under the category “Books I have read at the bookstore in one standing (no, not one sitting but one standing)”. I was in college, perusing the university’s bookstore shelves, when I first picked up Love That Dog. I thought I’d read the first page or two but I became so wrapped up in the story that I stood there with my ergonomically ridiculous one-strapped backpack, ignoring the knot below my right shoulder blade and falling in love with the main character, Jack. Confession: I cried. I bought the book and then leant it to a friend who must have loved it just as much because I never saw it again.

Love That Dog follows young Jack’s hate-to-love experience with poetry. Initially resistant to a genre that is both boring and clearly for girls, he comes to appreciate it with the help o William Blake, Walter Dean Myers, Robert Frost, and the astute teacher who is inflicting the poetry upon him. Through his writing he slowly unfolds his love for the four-footed companion for whom the book derives its title, and what ultimately happened to this dear friend.

It’s a poetry book designed for those who shy away from poetry. It reads quickly (even if you’re standing with a messenger bag pulling you down) and the protagonist is endearing. Newbery medal-winner Sharon Creech repeatedly demonstrates her ability to create young characters that are unique yet relatable, and deep yet entertaining. Those who love other works by Creech or have ever loved a dog will enjoy it. Whether you read it sitting or standing, I suggest you have a box of Kleenexes on hand.

Market: Middle Grade
Language: Mild (I’d say none but of course it has language! It’s a book!)
Sensuality: None
Violence: Mild
Mature Themes: Poetry, animals

Book formats:

To learn more about the author, visit: Sharon Creech


Anonymous said...

This is one of the best books EVER! I love it! Thank you for this fabulous review, too, Emily. I think I read this book in one standing, too--at a library!

Alix said...

Oh this sounds such a great book! I love books that you CAN NOT put down, even if you's shoulder is killing you :D

Must buy it, thanks for the great review Emily!

Katie L. said...

My favorite part of this review, Em?

Language: Mild (I’d say none but of course it has language! It’s a book!)

Sounds like a wonderful book. I've added to my to-read list!!!