Last week, I asked "Why would so much depend upon a red wheelbarrow?" and this week, I found a boy-protagonist echoing me.
"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."
Meet Jack, who tells his story through free-spirited verses he writes (reluctantly at first) based on the classics his teacher, Miss Stretchberry, shares in class. Like me, Jack doesn't 'get' poetry at first but gradually learns to enjoy the pictures formed in his head.
What kind of protagonist is Jack?
He doesn't mince his words about how he thinks boys don't write poetry, and about the line spacing his teacher ought to use.
He is often unsure of himself and asks to remain anonymous whenever Miss Stretchberry requests to post his writings on the class board.
He is a little sad though he doesn't tell us that, or why. Readers would find out, of course, towards the end. Still, he never betrays a sliver of self-pity.
This is a great story to be shared in class, for children reading poetry and for those who love dogs. Yeah, Jack's good ol' yellow dog.
Jack is very fortunate to have a caring and encouraging teacher like Miss Stretchberry, who bakes delicious brownies for the class. (What luck!) Have you ever had such a Miss Stretchberry in your school-life?
I know not everyone enjoys novels written in verse. I'm a huge fan and have come across several outstanding middle-grade stories written in this fashion, with down-to-earth and honest narrative voices, quietly bright tones, and refreshing line-break choices. Perhaps it has to do with my difficulty in reading long prose when I was 9-12. This sort of writing would have helped me tremendously back then, so I'm glad it is now an option for young readers.
Love That Dog is followed by Hate That Cat. If you've enjoyed Jack in this one, remember to pick up the latter, too.
Grab My Button!
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.carryusoffbooks.com/blog.html" title="CarryUsOff Books" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.weebly.com/uploads/5/6/8/1/5681205/5653609_orig.jpg" alt="CarryUsOff Books" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
Hey, I'm Claudine. Welcome!
Want to know what children's stories can inspire & lead to?
by Kate Hanney
Really enjoyed the honest voice of this narrator ~ a teenager let down by his mother and the foster care system, and almost-picked up through his involvement with a gang.