60 pages 2 hours read

Sharon Creech

Love That Dog

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

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.


What Makes a Poem

Jack resists his class’s poetry unit at the beginning of the school year as he doesn’t understand what makes a poem. Poems confuse him at first, as they do many students, due to their eccentricities in form, language, and topic. Jack also has a preconceived notion that only girls write poetry. Whatever excuses he makes, his hesitance really stems from feeling unqualified to make good art. After reading a short poem by Valerie Worth, Jack writes a response in verse that Miss Stretchberry wants to publish: “It’s not a poem. / Is it? / I guess you can / put it on the board / if you want to / but don’t put / my name / on it / in case / other people / think / it’s not a poem” (17). Jack can’t determine whether his own poem qualifies as poetry, but the more he reads and writes, the more confident he grows. Miss Stretchberry helps her students’ poems appear professional by typing them on nice paper and “publishing” them on a board, which helps Jack feel like his own work is worthy of an audience’s consideration: “I guess it does / look like a poem / when you see it / typed up / like that” (18).