Friday, November 18, 2011

Hate that Cat

Title: Hate that Cat
Category: Realistic, Verse Novel
Grades: 3-7
Author: Sharon Creech
Publisher: Joanna Cotler Books
Date: 2008
Pages: 125

Jack is back, a year older and a year more full of insight.  With the same English teacher, Jack again journeys through his school year in verse.  Tired of writing about Sky, Jack searches for other subjects, including the big black cat that attacked him when he was younger, his mixed feelings about having a new kitten, and his deaf mother. 

Thoroughly as delightful as the original, Hate that Cat will amuse and encourage young readers, particularly fans of Love that Dog.  Creech once again demonstrates her masterful ability to convey a character’s depth and full range of thoughts and emotions through the simple, entirely convincing lines of Jack’s journal.  Readers will both laugh at and sympathize with Jack’s irritation at writing and his comments like, “I can’t do it./Brain frozen,” and “You can’t just alliterate and onomatopoeiate/all over the place/can you?” Creech moves beyond the common experience of losing a beloved pet in this novel and allows Jack to attempt to reconcile his mother’s deafness to his love of sound and poetry, opening the door for younger readers to a more multicultural point of view.  Another must-read from Sharon Creech.


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