• First, we’re having a GREAT time with the One School-One Book program…. Getting “thank you” notes from parents already about how it’s “forcing” some family reading time that they seemed to have lost over the years.
    — Paul Marinko - Principal at St. Paul's Lutheran School - Fort Wayne, IN
  • Since last spring, our entire school has excitedly embraced the One School, One Book Program. We will soon begin our spring selection: A Cricket in Times Square -- the third book we've adopted since the spring of 2010!

    We are so thrilled with the positive impact this program has had on our students, families, and staff
    — Laurie LaRue - First Grade Teacher at Edgewood School - Bristol, CT
  • I think the OSOB program is brilliant. My seven year-old attends Orleans Elementary in Massachusetts and they (we) are reading Masterpiece. Since the grades levels range from one to five at this school, finding a book to suit all is difficult. My daughter can follow the big picture somewhat but we have to reinforce what we’ve read because it’s a lot to take in for her.
    — Glenn Krzeminski - Parent of student at Orleans Elementary - Orleans, MA
  • The One District, One Book program promoted by Read To Them...is a powerful way to systemically address and promote a culture of literacy throughout the entire school system.

    My school actually adopted a hamster and even used it as “pet therapy” for many of the behaviorally challenged children in our school.
    — Kenny Moles of West Virginia

Love That Dog

by Sharon Creech (2001)

Sharon Creech’s Love That Dog is a unique and special book. On the surface, it is a story told thru poetry. But that story is sly and effective, and works its magic in ways devious and mysterious. In the story, the young protagonist, Jack – who thinks he doesn’t like poetry – is compelled to endure a poetry unit. Every week his teacher, Miss Stretchberry, exposes him to poetry and makes him write it. Jack thinks he can’t, but it is Sharon Creech’s genius that even his simplest objections come out as poetry nonetheless. The first page reads, in its entirety:

                I don’t want to.
                Because boys don’t write poetry.
                Girls do.

Creech uses this simple, magical method to create a story in which Jack explores the poetry of Robert Frost; writes his own poem about his dog; and eventually comes to invite the poet Walter Dean Meyers to his school. It is a short book – can be read in a single sitting – but very touching and moving. As One Book (read at home to families), Read To Them recommends it be read in two weeks, and that it be done in conjunction with National Poetry Month (April), to help foster students’ interest in reading and writing poetry.

Love That Dog thus makes an excellent choice for One School, One Book because it can also teach readers and listeners alike to slow down and appreciate the phrases and clauses and images and descriptions and moments and turns of phrase that make up good poetry – and good prose. In presentations to parents on How to Read Aloud, Read To Them’s Bruce Coffey uses an excerpt from Love That Dog to illustrate his one, over-arching meta-tip: How to read prose like poetry. It is a lesson well learned thru the sly pleasures of a simple, effective story – the story of a boy writing about his dog.

There are eight supplementary resources for Sharon Creech’s Love That Dog:

  • a sample letter home to parents
  • a sample reading schedule
  • a trivia bank
  • Daily Trivia Questions
  • Daily Trivia Answer Key
  • a Trivia Quiz
  • Trivia Quiz Answer Key
  • Suggested Activities

As a participating member of One School, One Book you may have access to all of these documents. Here are some samples:

The sample documents are incomplete. They are designed to give you a quick peek at the documents for each title. For the complete and full versions of all documents, you must be a participating Read to Them school. Contact bruce.coffey@readtothem.org for more information.

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