Hate That Cat

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Overview

Jack

Room 204—Miss Stretchberry

February 25

Today the fat black cat
up in the tree by the bus stop
dropped a nut on my head
thunk
and when I yelled at it
that fat black cat said
Murr-mee-urrr
in a
nasty
spiteful
way.

I hate that cat.

This is the story of
Jack
words
sounds
silence
teacher
and cat.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Stacey L. Hester
The honest, observant, and expressive Jack is sure about two things: he hates poetry and cats. His journey begins in Miss Stretchberry's classroom where he faces the challenge of expressing himself through poetry. He encounters problems along the way including his Uncle Bill, who, unlike Miss Stretchberry, insists that good poetry consists of long lines, symbolism and regular rhyme and meter. Jack tangles with the likes of alliteration, consonance, metaphors and onomatopoeia, but by the end of the school year he finds new meaning and purpose for such conventions and learns to appreciate the diverse beauties of both sound and silence. His evolving relationship with poetry mirrors his relationships with cats. Jack's initial aversion to felines transforms one Christmas morning when a tiny, mewing kitten crawls from underneath the wrappings scattered around the tree and straight into his heart. Author Sharon Creech invites emerging poets to commiserate with Jack as he learns to navigate the world of poetry and tempts seasoned poets to appreciate her crafty allusions and creative expression. Figurative language, poetic devices and visual word manipulation abound in this book of poetry. Reviewer: Stacey L. Hester
School Library Journal

Gr 3-7

Sharon Creech's free-verse novel (2008) continues the story of Jack, first introduced in Love That Dog (2001, both HarperCollins/Joanna Cotler Books). Jack is delighted that his teacher from the previous year, Miss Stretchberry, has also moved up a grade. For the second year in a row, Jack is encouraged to express his thoughts and feelings through a poetry journal. Miss Stretchberry introduces her class to the works of a variety of poets, and also introduces Jack to a kitten who captures his hear. As Jack explores rhythm and sound, he also wonders how poetry is experienced by those who cannot hear, such as his mother, who communicates her appreciation of Jack's poetry through sign language. The novel's combination of formats-journal and verse-is well narrated by Scott Wolf whose youthful diction captures the spirit of Jack's exuberant blank verse; his use of pauses and emphasis hints at the structure of the words on the page. The recording includes an appendix of some of the poems used in the class. This story will be enjoyed by reluctant readers for the accessible story line, and applauded by teachers for the embedded lessons in writing and poetry appreciation.-Misti Tidman, Boyd County Public Library, Ashland, KY

Kirkus Reviews
Newbery Medalist Creech continues the story of budding poet Jack in this sequel that, as is often the case with sequels, never quite captures the magic of the initial volume, 2001's Love That Dog. Jack is starting a new school year, moving up to the next grade along with his perceptive teacher, Miss Stretchberry. As in its predecessor, Jack's poems respond to well-known works studied in class and to Miss Stretchberry's insightful comments. She encourages Jack to stretch in his writing and to continue to examine buried feelings about his dog and, this year, about his mother as well. The titular cat that Jack dislikes is a mean neighborhood cat, but he changes his mind about felines when he gets a kitten as a Christmas present. The growth in Jack's writing is evident as the year progresses, and he learns more about the elements of poetry (though some of his poems and responses veer off a little too far into Englishmajorland). Teachers will welcome both Jack's poems and Creech's embedded writing lessons. (appendix, bibliography) (Fiction/poetry. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739376799
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/1/2008
  • Format: CD
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Sharon Creech

Sharon Creech is the author of the Newbery Medal winner Walk Two Moons and the Newbery Honor Book The Wanderer. Her other work includes the novels The Great Unexpected, The Unfinished Angel, Hate That Cat, The Castle Corona, Replay, Heartbeat, Granny Torrelli Makes Soup, Ruby Holler, Love That Dog, Bloomability, Absolutely Normal Chaos, Chasing Redbird, and Pleasing the Ghost, as well as three picture books: A Fine, Fine School; Fishing in the Air; and Who's That Baby? Ms. Creech and her husband live in Maine.

Good To Know

In her interview with Barnes & Noble.com, Creech shared some fun facts about herself:

"One of my most interesting jobs was in graduate school, working with the Federal Theatre Project archives (a Library of Congress collection, then based at George Mason University). I catalogued original illustrations for set and costume designs, some by Orson Welles. It was fascinating work!"

"I once fell 20 feet from a tree, was knocked unconscious, and when I picked myself up and straggled home, my parents thought I was making it up. However, when my brother and I fabricated a story about an encounter with a bear, they believed that! So maybe I learned very early on that fiction was more interesting to listeners!"

"As readers can probably tell from my books, I love the outdoors. I love to hike, kayak, and swim. I also love to read (which is probably not a surprise) and I love the theater and art museums. I especially love all the instruments of art: inks, pens, paintbrushes, watercolors and oils, fine papers and canvases, and although I love to mess around with these tools and objects, I have minimal artistic skills."

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    1. Hometown:
      Pennington, New Jersey
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 29, 1945
    2. Place of Birth:
      Cleveland, Ohio
    1. Education:
      B.A., Hiram College, 1967; M.A., George Mason University, 1978

Read an Excerpt

Hate That Cat
A Novel

Jack

Room 204—Miss Stretchberry

September 12

I hate that cat
like a dog hates a rat
I said I hate that cat
like a dog hates a rat

Hate to see it in the morning
hate to see that
F A T black cat.

Hate That Cat
A Novel
. Copyright © by Sharon Creech. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 55 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(17)

4 Star

(28)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 54 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 16, 2010

    Fun, Interesting Read!

    The entire story is written in poems, which makes it unique. Although written for children ages 9-11, readers of all ages will enjoy reading Jack's diary-like poems written to his teacher. The reader knows Jack has recently lost a pet and is still learning to cope. We also are aware that his mother has a disability, which he speaks of often. This book would be a good choice to show that poems do not have to be a certain length or rhyme. Other topics include pet death, new pets, and disabilities. This is a fast and enjoyable read. I was interested in Jack and the events of his life. He offered an interesting perspective on the day to day activities and events of a child growing up.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 25, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Endearing

    Didn't know what to expect. The title caught my eye.
    Its technically a child's, Jack's, poetry journal...all his thoughts written in poetic form. Quite cute really.
    It does have depth though...you discover what cat he hates, how much he misses his dog, how irritating his uncle is, how he loves his new pet even though....(don't want to ruin) and why his mother seldom comes to school conferences or recitals. Endearing.

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  • Posted December 6, 2010

    Hate that Cat.. Love that Book

    Hate That Cat By Sharon Creech follows the story of a young boy named Jack. Jack writes peoms, even if at first he doesnt want to. In fact Creech's book is written in all poems. Jack first write about his dog, Sky, who has passed away. We also learn that Jack does not like cats , exspecally the one around the neighborhood that attacked him. However Jack soon gets a kitten that he names Skitter McKitter. After a while Jack comes to love not only Skitter McKitter, but the other cat too. Creech's book is a great way to introduce poetry into any classroom. She uses the idea of mentor text to help jack, which can also be used in any classroom as a spring board to help students that have a diffcult time writing poems, like jack did, or who are stuck on how to start a poem. Hate That Cat is a fun easy book for students to read by themselves, with friends or family members.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2010

    I would recommend this book

    "Hate that Cat" is a very interesting book and unlike any book I have ever read. If I had to compare the book to any other it would be the "Diary of a..." books. However, to compare it to another book doesn't do it any justice.
    "Hate that Cat" is a bout a boy named Jack who writes a journal to his teachers. The book goes through the whole school year and starts with Jack upset that they have to learn about poems again this school year. Jack also explains that he hates cats and prefers dogs. By the end of this story Jack's opinion changes of cats and poetry. the reader also learns that Jack's father takes care of the family because his mother is deaf. Jack at first is ashamed of her but this to changes.
    This is a great story to bring into a second grade class or higher grade. This is a wonderful read aloud book for younger grades and a great independent read for older students.

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  • Posted November 29, 2010

    Hate That Cate Book Review

    Hate That Cate by Sharon Creech was very cute story. As I started to read it, I was a little confused by the way it was writeen. This book is written in a poetry style. The story revovles around a young child, Jack and how much he hates cats. He is writing different poems that Miss Stretchberry (his teacher) encourages to continue working on, to help him improve his writing. Within his poetry, Jack addresses many different ideas about cats and why he does not like them as well as why he can't understand why others do like cats.

    This story is fun and exciting to read, also easy to follow. If you are looking for a story that will keep your attention and wanting to read more, then Hate That Cat is the book. I think that this book is suitable for children around the ages of 7-11 years old.

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  • Posted November 29, 2010

    Highly Recommended- especially in the classroom

    Hate that Cat by Sharon Creech is unlike any book I have read. At first, I was very unsure about how the book would flow, and if it would be confusing, however, I continued reading and loved the book. Hate that Cat is a book that you won't want to put down. The book is written from the perspective of Jack as different journal entries. Jack writes about many things, such as: different famous poets and poems that they talk about in his class. Jack includes different literary elements including similes, metaphors, alliteration, and onomatopoeias. Jack also has an interesting way to describe things; one such is his mom. Jack's mom is deaf and he describes how she talks with her hand, but he never once says that she is deaf. This book is a wonderful book, one I encourage to be brought into the classroom, your class will enjoy it.

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  • Posted November 28, 2010

    Highly Recommended

    I think this is a great book from the perspective of a student teacher. I like books that are different then any other book I pick up. I like how this is written as a poem. There are not chapters in this book, there are just different journal entries. Some books are hard to follow when they are written in poem form, but this one flowed nicely. This book is about a boy named Jack who writes in his journal, Hate that cat about poetry and his life, and also everything that he learns in school. This would be a good book for a middle school student to sit down and enjoy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2010

    Refreshing to Read- Highly Recommended

    This book would be a great read for any English Teacher to share with their students! It's about a boy named Jack who writes poems based on other famous poems that his teacher shares with his class. The book mentions concepts such as, alliteration, simile, metaphor and onomatopoeia. As a student teacher I know i would love to use this book in my class someday when I do a unit on poetry. I also really enjoy that the author Sharon Creech has at the back of the book, the famouse poems that Jack makes reference to in the story. It ties the whole book together. This book is great for any poetry lover's collection!

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  • Posted November 24, 2010

    This book is a must for elementary English teachers!

    Hate That Cat, by Sharon Creech is an entertaining introduction to poetry by well known writers. The book's main character, Jack, is taken on a journey of self discovery through his daily journal. He writes freely, paying minimal attention to line length, rhyme, and meter. Jack is skeptical at first, but through continuous writing, explores his thoughts about cats, dogs, and his deaf mother. The more he writes, the more things around him start to make sense. It is only because he does not want to betray his love for his dead dog, sky that he claims to hate cats. Throughout the school year, Jack develops his poetry skills using imagery, and starts to open up about his mother. The author uses text sparingly, which makes for a quick read for 3rd 5th graders. Students are able to read poems by well known artists such as Edgar Poe, T.S. Eliot, and William Carlos Williams, which are located in the back of the book. I highly recommend this book to all dog, cat, and poetry lovers.

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  • Posted November 23, 2010

    Highly Recommended - Especially English Teachers

    Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech is written in poem form. At first I thought it was going to be hard to read, because of the way it was written. Once I read the first couple of pages, it was just like reading any other book. Jack is the main characher of the book and carries on a conversation with his teacher through his writings. He comments of the lessons that his teacher has taught or read about in class. She covers several elements of poetry like: alliteration, onomatopoeia, assonance and methaphors. This book would be a great way to hook students into poetry and keep them interested.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2010

    Hate that Cat!!

    What a great and different book for students to read. The way this book was set up was brilliant and an easy read. Jack goes through and talks about his loss of his pet and having to deal with getting a new one, despite the neighbors big black cat.He also talks about his mother and how she is deaf. He goes through and talks about the importance of metaphor, alliteration, onomatopoeia, and LARGE moments. I thought this book was awesome and interesting for students of young ages to read.

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  • Posted November 21, 2010

    highly Recommended

    Jack hates cats, he prefers dogs! Hate that Cat by Sharon Creech is an excellent way to introduce poetry for young readers. This is journal of a young boy named Jack, who over comes some challenges in his life while learning about poetry. This journal uses a variety of poems, authors, and poetry vocabulary to introduce and deepen learner's knowledge and skill about poetry, while giving relatable experiences to expand the readers understanding. Throughout the journal the narrator uses examples of practice with a variety of poetry skills, while introducing examples from various poets. This is a very good book to use in the classroom or to give a reluctant poet learner for individual reading. I will add this book to my collection of useable works

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  • Posted November 19, 2010

    Hate That Cat

    Writing poems and reading about cats is Jack's least favorite thing in the world to do in the book Hate That Cat, by Sharon Creech. He is in Miss. Stetchberry's class and is constantly working on writing poetry. He feels he is no good at it and his Uncle Bill always seems to be criticizing his writing and telling him he needs to add more to it. He isn't fond of the fact that Uncle Bill says poetry must include symbols, metaphors, regular meter and must rhyme. Jack feels very strongly about his dislike for cats. He seems upset when the poems that he reads talk about them; he finds dogs to be much better companions as pets. At first, Jack is very leery and seems discouraged about his poems. He soon starts to feel more comfortable as he writes more and more. He discovers poetry in his everyday life. He grasps literary terms and discusses them throughout the story. He criticizes William Carlos Williams poems saying that they do not include very much alliteration, onomonapia, similes, or metaphors. Jack takes many different poems and rewrites them in his own way. He grows to find a love for poetry. He also learns that he really does like cats after his parents get him one for Christmas. He soon discovers that the mean black cat he hated so much really is not as bad as he thought, and saves his kitten Skitter McKitter after she was missing. This is a great book for students in third grade and up. Jack is a character that students could easily relate to. He struggles with writing poetry and finding his voice. His poems are humorous and fun to read. He grows and a writer and as a person in this story. In the beginning he didn't like cats, but after having more experience with them, he learned to love them. This can be helpful with encouraging students not to "judge a book by its cover," and to not judge right away. This book is great with explaining literary terms to elementary level students and provides wonderful examples of them. Overall, I greatly enjoyed this book and would use it in my classroom. Creech, Sharon. Hate That Cat. New York: Harper Collins Publishers. 2008. Print.

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  • Posted November 18, 2010

    Highly Recommended!

    Hate That Cat- by Sharon Creech

    As a student teacher, I enjoyed the way the book is set up. It is different from other novels with the way the author breaks the pages up like a diary, using poems. This novel does not consist of different chapters, instead she uses a creative technique of diary entries. In brief, it is about a young boy named Jack who is starting a new school year. His teacher is Miss Stretchberry, whom he had last year. He really likes the way Miss. Stretchberry teaches about poetry, unlike his Uncle Bill who is a college professor. He wishes his Uncle Bill would teach more along the lines of Miss. Stretchberry, instead of focusing on symbols, metaphors, and teaching people that poems have to rhyme. However, even though Jack brings up facts about his family, and his old dog Sky who recently died, this book is supposed to revolve around a neighborhood cat, "a mean cat, a crazy mean fat black cat" (Creech 6.) I would absolutely recommend this book for 3rd-6th graders. I believe children would enjoy this book for a number of reasons. To begin, even though it has close to 200 pages, it would not take a child longer than an hour or so to complete. It is the perfect book to keep them entertained if they have some time on their hands. Sharon Creech did a wonderful job as a narrator of a middle school student. Every line was believable and I did not question one part of the book. I like the fact that Creech introduced poems that were brought into Miss. Stretchberry's class. As these poems were mentioned throughout the book, and Jack gives his opinion about them; at the end of the book, all of the poems are presented to the reader. For example, Edgar Allan Poe, William Carlos Williams, Valerie Worth, and Christopher Myers were a few of the authors of poetry who are stated. I believe teachers could benefit from bringing this book into their classroom to introduce students to poetry. They will be able to teach them many concepts about different forms of poetry while giving their students practice with reading. Overall, great book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2010

    Check This Book Out!

    This book is a wonderful story about a young boy named Jack. Jack is Mrs. Strechberry's classroom and she decides that they will begin a poetry lesson. Jack doesn't really understand why he needs to learn about poetry and doesn't really get it in general. He decides to talk to his Uncle Bill to get some help but that backfires on him and Uncle Bill just confuses him more by saying it has to rhyme and be in written in long sentences.
    The book comes in the form of a diary which is fun for children, they might be able to relate to it a bit easier. Jack loves his dog but one tragic day the dog dies. Jack finds it easy to begin writing poems about his dog in free verse, just the opposite of what his uncle said. Jack gets a cat for Christmas and he decides he doesn't like it at all. His feelings change though out the book when he decides to start to sign his poems to his deaf mother.
    This story is a great story to use in a classroom to show students that even though some people are different were all still very much the same. It would be a good introduction to a poetry unit and is easy to read, perfect for students in the 2nd-5th grade range.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2010

    Great Book!!

    Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech is novel written in verse that is narrated by the main character Jack. Everyday Jack writes in his journal about what is happening in school and at home. What Jack writes each day is what we read in the book.
    Jack is so excited his teacher, Ms. Stretchberry, has moved up a grade with him and is going to be his teacher for another year. Ms. Stretchberry teaches a lot about poetry and Jack really enjoys that. He feels he is not a good poet because everything he writes his Uncle Bill always says something is wrong with it. However, he uses poetry to explore his feelings.
    In this book Jack starts out hating cats and explains how he was waiting at the bus stop and heard a cat in the tree. He went up to save it and the cat attacked him. He decided he does not like BIG cats and dogs are way better. Jack gets a small black kitten under the Christmas tree. Does he like the cat?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2010

    Not so great

    Hate That Cat, written by Sharon Creech is basically a journal of a young boy learning to write poetry. The main theme throughout the book is that most every poem involves a cat. In the beginning he has very rough poems and as the reader we see them develop throughout the book. He learns many lessons on which he comments, such as alliterations and onomatopoeias.

    The book is not really that interesting nor educational. The poems are not very good and the lessons on language are not very intensive. I do not think it is really a great book for either leisure or educational purposes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2010

    Don't Hate That Book...It's Not Bad

    There were several things I liked in this book. I liked the setup of it and how it seemed to be the diary of a student who was in the process of learning about poems and poetry. I thought a lot of what was written could really have come from a child. Even though it is written in a journal format you can tell there are some interactions between the student and teacher and it's very fun seeing the students response. In the beginning I thought there wouldn't be much plot, but I was quite wrong. I also liked that all the poems mentioned in the book can be found at the end of the book. Overall I thought this book was very well written and definitely worth taking the time out of my day to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2010

    Great Read!

    Hate that Cat by Sharon Creech, Ages 8-12. Hate that Cat is written in journal form throughout the course of the school year by Jake, to his teacher. Jake moved up a grade and his teacher moved up with him too. Jake focuses on his dislike for a neighborhood big, fat cat and his dislike for the feline species in general throughout most of this book until he receives a black kitten for a Christmas present. The story is written in poetic stanzas and follows Jake as he learns about poetry and many poetic devices such as alliteration, onomatopoeia, and metaphors. This book would be an excellent compliment to a poetry unit for an elementary or intermediate school classroom. It is a great way to expose children to famous poets and their styles of writing, as there are many examples throughout the book.

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  • Posted November 17, 2010

    Recommended

    Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech
    This book was quite interesting, but may have the reader a little confused a first. The main character Jack writes in diary form through poetry. This book would be a very useful tool for teaching students about the different types of poetry. Jack tells his story through poetry, and is lead through the school year writing poetry in Mrs. Stretchberry's class. He has many strengths and weaknesses when writing poetry and constantly refers to his uncle, saying he would or would not like this type of poetry. Jack struggles writing some of the poems he is assigned, and without knowing realizes these concepts he is learning are a way to help his deaf mother. Jack also has a hatred for a big fat cat, and is continuously referring to this cat in his story. Throughout the story he begins to fall in love with cats, even though he has stated numerous times, he does not like CATS!

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