Because library books on reserve tend to arrive all at once in a great cosmic plot to make me have more overdue fines, I was able to read two more of Sharon Creech's charming (and short) stories.
The books, through poetry writing assignments, tell the story of Jack, a kid who at first hates writing poetry. But as his teacher Miss Stretchberry continually challenges him to re-think what he considers poetry, he gradually learns to love it.
In Dog, Jack slowly comes out of his shell and eventually shares a personal painful story of his. It's the classic story of a boy and his dog, told through poetry influenced by William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost, Valerie Worth, and others. In Cat, the reader learns more about Jack's family, and through his evolving relationship with poetry and words he is able to understand how sights and sounds can be felt.
Like the Creech's other books I've read, I'm amazed by how aptly she has captured the fresh and innocent voice of a child struggling to understand life and death while still enjoying play time and simple daily comforts.
The books are also a wonderful tribute to teachers everywhere who encourage students to find their voices and share their stories. I couldn't stop smiling, watching Jack learn and grow throughout the books. Perfect quick summer reads!