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HATE THAT CAT by Sharon Creech

HATE THAT CAT

By Sharon Creech

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-143092-3
Publisher: Joanna Cotler/HarperCollins

Newbery Medalist Creech continues the story of budding poet Jack in this sequel that, as is often the case with sequels, never quite captures the magic of the initial volume, 2001’s Love That Dog. Jack is starting a new school year, moving up to the next grade along with his perceptive teacher, Miss Stretchberry. As in its predecessor, Jack’s poems respond to well-known works studied in class and to Miss Stretchberry’s insightful comments. She encourages Jack to stretch in his writing and to continue to examine buried feelings about his dog and, this year, about his mother as well. The titular cat that Jack dislikes is a mean neighborhood cat, but he changes his mind about felines when he gets a kitten as a Christmas present. The growth in Jack’s writing is evident as the year progresses, and he learns more about the elements of poetry (though some of his poems and responses veer off a little too far into Englishmajorland). Teachers will welcome both Jack’s poems and Creech’s embedded writing lessons. (appendix, bibliography) (Fiction/poetry. 9-12)