Monday, December 18, 2017

Middle Grade Monday: Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate. 256 p. Feiwel & Friends, September, 2015. 9781250043238. (Own.)

The Middle Grade Monday feature is a recommendation from a sixth grade student. He chose Crenshaw as one of his favorite books to use for his booktalk podcast.

Crenshaw is the name of a giant cat who used to be Jackson's imaginary friend. But Jackson is eleven now; surely too old for an imaginary friend! The last time Crenshaw appeared was three years ago when Jackson and his family were living in their van. Things got better but now, Jackson is seeing piles of unpaid bills, empty cabinets, and whisper-arguing parents. He wishes they would be honest with him.

Most of my students want for nothing. This superb story of an intact family struggling with poverty is an eye-opener. Readers will relate to Jackson, admire his resilience, perhaps develop some empathy and, maybe even wish for a Crenshaw of their own. 

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