Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hate it or love it?

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
I really was not wanting to read this book. I was thrown off by the title and the back cover really made me want to not read it. I was just thinking that it was a book about a boy who loved his dog, but had a hard time conveying that love.
What I found was a lovely surprise. Ms. Creech does an amazing job of telling a story of a boy who is trying to find his literary identity. Jack starts out by not wanting to complete an assignment, he hated poetry and could not make sense of what was being read. What he ended up finding was his voice. The way he worked out what he was thinking about the poems used in class reminded me of how I felt about poetry.
I truly am in love with this book. I agree that "any words can be a poem. You've just got to make short lines". That was how it was explained to us. Never did I have a teacher who tried to place the emotional part into creating poetry. They just seem to concentrate on a word and said "write about it".
This book is so much more than a book about poetry. It could be used as an instruction manual for teachers. Ms. Stretchberry was able to gain Jack's trust. She allowed him to guide her with when he was ready to have things posted, when to add his name and when to back off. She gave him the opportunity to gain the strength necessary to write about a very difficult time in his life. I want to be that teacher. I want to be the one who helps the student achieve the confidence to become the student (and in this case writer) they can be.

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