Love That Dog

By: 

Sharon Creech

Number of Pages: 

86

Minimum grade level: 

4th

Elementary school student Jack, convinced that only girls write poetry, completes his poetry assignments in a journal that is part monologue to his teacher and part homework and all poetry (whether he realizes it or not). Jack's enthusiasm for poetry slowly grows until Walter Dean Myer's poem "Love That Boy" inspires an invitation for an author visit. I will read that poem now. To see how Jack is transformed, read Love That Dog.

Discussion questions

Spoiler alert! Some of the questions contain key elements of the plot. Do not read if you don't want to know what happens!

  1. We only get one side of the conversation (Jack's) and never what the teacher writes or says to him. Why did the author do this?
  2. Love That Dog is written differently than other stories, kind of a journal with poems. Why do you think the author choose to write it like this?
  3. Jack says "Maybe the poet was just making a picture with words and someone else typed it up and then people though it was a poem because it looked like one typed up like that." Did Sharon Creech write poems for this book or are they poems because this was how it was typed?
  4. Jack says, "If that is a poem about the red wheelbarrow and the white chickens then any words can be a poem. You've just got to make short lines." Do you agree?
  5. What does "anonymous" mean? Why didn't Jack want his name on his poems? Have you ever wanted to share something you created but be anonymous?
  6. How did you feel after reading Jack's poem called "My Sky" (p. 68)?
  7. Who is your favorite author or poet?
  8. Did you have a favorite poem in Love That Dog?
  9. Why does poetry allow Jack to finally share his sadness about his dog?

If you liked this book, try

  • Strider by Beverly Cleary
  • Sahara Special by Esme Raji Codell
  • Heads or Tails: Stories From the Sixth Grade by Jack Gantos
  • Amelia's Notebook by Marissa Moss
  • Amber was Brave, Essie was Smart by Vera B. Williams
  • Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson

Created in part with funds granted by the Oregon State Library under the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Oregon State Library.