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Hate That Cat

by Sharon  Creech

Published by Joanna Cotler Books / HarperCollins, 2008
153 pages
ISBN: 978-0061430923

Ages 8-11

Podcast featuring this book

Sharon Creech returns to the young poet Jack in this follow-up to Love That Dog (Joanna Cotler Books/ HarperCollins, 2001). “You understand / my / brain.” Jack writes in a poem to Ms. Stretchberry, expressing his pleasure that she will be his teacher for another year. In Love That Dog, Jack wrote his way around and finally into the grief he felt over the death of his dog. In Hate That Cat, his poems express his initial disdain and eventual admiration for the stray cat in his neighborhood, as well as his observations about and delight in the kitten he can’t help but love. His poems also reveal details about his family life, including a mother who cannot hear but “paints words with her hands.” Jack’s self-awareness as a poet continues to blossom as he strives to get the right words on paper to express his thoughts and observations. He knows frustration when he falls short, but more often he knows the pleasure of saying what he means: “And although I was embarrassed / to stand up in front of everyone / and sign all those words / for my mother . . . when I saw my mother’s face / it felt good to me / it felt good to me / it felt good / to / me.” The poems shared by Ms. Stretchberry that inspire some of Jack’s own writing are included at the end of this second irresistible story about a boy seeing his way through the world with the help of a terrific teacher and the gift and the art of poetry. (MS) ©2008 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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