29 May 2011 ** Day #2, Book #2 of the Summer Break Challenge
This is one of those books that I've talked up and read about in my college students' lit discussions, but never actually read. I highly recommend this novel-in-verse. The story conveys Jack's growing facility with writing poetry while also revealing his feelings about his dog, the experiences with mentor texts in his classroom, and the visit of poet/author Walter Dean Myers to his classroom.
Creech sucked me into the story as I empathized with the teacher, wondering how on earth she found time to read all her kids' writing notebooks and then type the children's nascent poems for display in the classroom. I also empathized with Jack's tale of getting a dog and then watching as it is hit by a car.
I wonder though, if perhaps Creech didn't quite catch Jack's voice authentically. The poems seem a little too polished...the conversations a little too honest? I think my teacher mind fell in love with the book, but kids might not relate to the same degree.