By: Katherine Applegate
My Rating: Four out of Five Stars
Best for: Middle Grades (9 and up)
Crenshaw is a sweet story that will help middle-graders get outside themselves while they walk in someone else’s shoes for a few pages.
Its simple prose and short chapters make it accessible, and it’s smart story and straight talk without condescension make it an excellent teacher.
It also makes it an excellent book.
Crenshaw is Jackson’s imaginary friend, which was okay when you’re a 2nd grader. But fifth graders are too old for imaginary friends! So why is Crenshaw suddenly back in Jackson’s life? Is Jackson going crazy, or is Crenshaw there to help? Things are obviously not going well for Jackson’s parents…they work and work, but never have enough money. It’s looking like they might have to live in the minivan again because they can’t afford rent–or food.
Homelessness and financial insecurity will either be something a middle-grader knows nothing about, or something they know too well. Either way, Crenshaw has something to offer.
It’s real, relatable, funny, and sometimes sad. 9-year-olds and up will enjoy Crenshaw while he teaches them how to understand…or maybe how to cope.
If you’re a parent, it’ll probably tug at your heart a bit too.
Content appropriate for all ages.