Hate That Cat

May 9, 2016 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

catHate That Cat by Sharon Creech

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Hate That Cat is the sequel to Love That Dog, a short novel written in free verse that’s about a young boy who doesn’t like poetry. Sharon Creech is one of my favorite authors, largely due to Love That Dog. I first read it when I was working at a book distributor, reviewing books that were going out to libraries. It was in the bin, and it was such a slim volume that I couldn’t help but look through it. Twenty minutes later, I was hoping no one would stop by my station to ask me why I was crying.

Hate That Cat is also about Jack, but by this time, he already likes poetry. What he doesn’t like is cats, especially the one that waits in the tree at his bus stop and throws nuts at him. In the same style of free verse as the last book, Jack comes to appreciate cats, all while better understanding the people in his life. It’s not as effective as Love That Dog (how could it be?), but it doesn’t disappoint. At the very least, I had the sense to read this book at home, so I wouldn’t have to answer any awkward questions.

The parts that got me the most was when Jack would remember his dog, Sky, who was the dog from the first book, but the real focus of the story is Jack’s mother. In true Creech fashion, the author feeds us small snapshots of Jack’s life and family, but by the end of the story, we have the full picture and a better understanding. And where Love That Dog is a sad, bittersweet story about pets, Hate That Cat is a happier story, though it’s no less emotional.

Readers who have already read Love That Cat should read this book, but know that it’s not nearly as good as Love That Dog (even though it’s still very good). Readers who haven’t read Love That Cat … well, go to your library and check it out. You could read it on your lunch break, but make sure you’re somewhere private when you do. You know, just in case.

 

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