Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech
Jack is one lucky guy. He is in a unique situation of having the same teacher as last year. She really understands Jack. Even though she has a funny name, the teacher, Miss Stretchberry, is creative and perceptive. Miss Stretchberry shows Jack possibilities and introduces him to the poetry of T.S. Elliot, Edgar Allan Poe, William Carlos Williams, and others.
Jack really doesn't hate cats as the title might suggest. He doesn't appreciate missing the school bus because of a certain black cat. That is just one example of what problems he gets into because of cats. He misses his former dog so much, but he gets a kitten for Christmas. This book reveals how he copes when the kitten goes missing. This story also reveals how he deals with communicating with his deaf mother.
This is the newest book from Sharon Creech, author of the Newbery Medal Winner Walk Two Moons. No formal rhymes, meters, or metaphors here - just enough exposure and appreciation for those who love or hate poetry. I literally could not put the book down. The book offers a wide range of appeal for children eight to twelve.