Love That Dog by Sharon Creech

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Love That Dog

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech

“This book is a tiny treasure.”—School Library Journal (starred review) 

Love That Dog
is the story of Jack, his dog, his teacher, and words. The story develops through Jack’s responses to his teacher, Miss Stretchberry, over the course of a school year. At first, his responses are short and cranky: “I don’t want to” and “I tried. Can’t do it. Brain’s empty.” But as his teacher feeds him inspiration, Jack finds that he has a lot to say and he finds ways to say it. Jack becomes especially fond of a poem by Walter Dean Myers titled “Love That Boy,” and it is this poem that gives Jack a way to tell the story of his beloved dog, Sky.

New York Times Bestseller
Carnegie Medal Commended Book
ALA Notable Children’s Book
ALA Best Book for Young Adults
IRA/CBC Children’s Choice
NCTE Notable Children’s Book in the Language Arts
Christopher Award Editors’ Pick
Book Sense 76 Pick
Publishers Weekly Best Book
School Library Journal Best Book
Maine Student Book Award
Michigan’s Mitten Award
New Hampshire’s Great Stone Face Book Award
Vermont’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award
New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing

Walter Dean Myers’ poem, “Love That Boy,” has hung on my bulletin board for years. It’s at eye level, so I probably glance at it a dozen times a day. I love that poem—there is so much warmth and exuberance in it. (The poem is reprinted at the back of Love That Dog.) 

One day as I glanced at this poem, I started thinking about the much-loved boy in Myers’ poem. I wondered what that boy might love. Maybe a pet? A dog? Maybe also a teacher? And whoosh—out jumped Jack’s voice.



Our straggly shaggy dog, Tia

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Click the edges of the sample to turn the pages.

When I wrote this story, I’d only met Walter Dean Myers once. I suspected early on in writing this story that Myers’ poem would be important to Jack, but I was surprised when Walter Dean Myers himself entered the story. I was worried about that—not sure if I could have a living person as a character in my story. I tried to get Walter Dean Myers out of the story, but his absence left a big, empty hole. The whole story pivots on his poem and his influence on Jack.

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