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Hate That Cat

Review

Hate That Cat

Jack, the boy who loved that dog in LOVE THAT DOG, is back for another school year and another batch of poems. School has just started, and Jack is lucky enough to have the same teacher from last year, Miss Stretchberry. But that means he's in store for a lot more poetry.

Older and far more mature, Jack is now learning more about the nuances of poetry. Ever heard of consonance, assonance, or alliteration? Jack hasn't, but he learns. There are more poets to read from and more postcards from Walter Dean Myers, who wrote the poem "Love That Boy" that Jack loves so much.

As Jack becomes a more developed poet, he also becomes a more developed person. Miss Stretchberry urges him to try writing about his mother, his reply to which is, "No I cannot write/about my mother./That would be/IM-POSS-I-BLE." When he learns about similes, however, he edits that thought: "The chair in my room/is like a pleasingly plump momma."

Even his thoughts on cats begin to change as Jack meets more and more of them, whether it's near the bus stop or in class when Miss Stretchberry brings them in. And we get to experience everything almost as if it's firsthand, all while reading Jack's poetry journal.

Jack's poems, both in free verse in his journal and those that he models after famous poets like Tennyson and Christopher Myers, follow us through the school year. We'll see what happens when he gets a very surprising present under the Christmas tree.

HATE THAT CAT is a fabulous story, and it works well either as a sequel to LOVE THAT DOG or as a stand-alone. This is a fun and easy read, and it's a great way to begin to learn about poetry. Reading it will make you want to find a kitten to put on your lap, and will lead you to want to write a poem or two. Or a hundred. Sharon Creech has created another winner that would be perfect for reading alone, as a family, or as a class. I highly recommend it.

Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gómez on September 23, 2008

Hate That Cat
by Sharon Creech

  • Publication Date: September 23, 2008
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • ISBN-10: 0061430927
  • ISBN-13: 9780061430923