Book Review: “Hate That Cat” by Sharon Creech

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Hate That Cat
by Sharon Creech

This sequel to Love That Dog is another short novel in the form of poetry. Made up entirely of the poems Jack writes for his teacher, Ms. Stretchberry, during the course of a school year, this book shows us another year of a bright, sensitive boy’s life: his joys and heartaches, the questions he turns over in his head, his growing appreciation of poetry and mastery of poetic techniques. And because Jack is constantly inspired by certain poems by T.S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, and others, the book also includes those poems in a helpful appendix.

What happens in the story? It has something to do with a boy coming to terms with the loss of his beloved dog and learning to appreciate cats — even the nasty black cat in the neighborhood. It has something to do with the boy’s struggle to understand what it is like for his mother to be deaf. But it mainly has to do with how he grows to understand what poetry is for, and why even little everyday things can become objects of unforgettable beauty.

Sharon Creech communicates all this to us with touching sensitivity, yet in the simple, unguarded language of a young schoolboy. Adults and children alike will enjoy this warmhearted little book.