60 pages 2 hours read

Sharon Creech

Love That Dog

Fiction | Novel/Book in Verse | Middle Grade | Published in 2001

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Important Quotes

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“I don’t want to

because boys

don’t write poetry.

Girls do.”

(Page 1)

Jack’s claim that only girls write poetry speaks to his personal bias—and is contrary to literary history. Historically, readers took male writers as a whole more seriously than women. The first two poems the class reads are written by men, but Miss Stretchberry’s curriculum also comes to include women.

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“I don’t understand

the poem about

the red wheelbarrow

and the white chickens

and why so much

depends upon


(Page 3)

Miss Stretchberry uses poems such as William Carlos Williams’s “The Red Wheelbarrow” as mentor texts. These texts provide acclaimed writing examples that students can study and imitate. As students read more poetry, they acclimate to different styles and accumulate resources with which to create their own work—even if the process is confusing at first.

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“What do you mean—

Why does so much depend


a blue car?

You didn’t say before

that I had to tell why.

The wheelbarrow guy

didn’t tell why.”

(Page 5)

Miss Stretchberry pushes Jack to consider diction and think critically about his writing. Williams doesn’t explain why the red wheelbarrow matters, but his poem still makes an impact; readers can form their own interpretations based on the brief imagery and setting given. Jack doesn’t reveal the blue car’s significance until the climax, but it’s clearly a sensitive topic.