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I received Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate, for Christmas. It was a book that has been on my wishlist for a while now. So, after finishing another book I had going, I read this one. I was not disappointed.
Jackson and his family are going through tough times financially. There is no money to pay the rent, hardly any money for food. Jackson, his little sister, his parents, and their dog may have to live in their minivan…again.
Just when things are getting really rough, Jackson notices a cat. An abnormally large, outspoken cat. It’s Crenshaw, Jackson’s imaginary friend from first grade.
Jackson will be going into fifth grade in the fall, and he believes he is way too old to have an imaginary friend. He tries to get rid of Crenshaw, but Crenshaw insists that he must stay until Jackson doesn’t need him anymore. That is the way imaginary friends work.
Crenshaw is a lovely book. It gives children an insight into a life of poverty. A perfect book for developing empathy.
The way Katherine Applegate presents the relationship between boy and imaginary friend is truly magical.
It also tackles the ancient battle between wanting to grow up, and wanting to stay a little kid for just a while longer.
I would recommend this book kids ages 10 and up. It is a really good story, and has valuable life lessons enclosed. The subject matter (the family is really poor, they have to sell most of their belongings, beg for money and so on) might be too heavy for younger children. It is up to your discretion as some young children aren’t as sensitive as others.
Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate is a fantastic book and I highly recommend it!