By Katherine Applegate

Published: 2015

AR level: 3.8

AR points: 3.0

I suggest 1st through 5th grade.9781250091666_p0_v2_s600x595

I’ve already featured one of my favorite Katherine Applegate books on this blog. It’s hard to beat a book like The One and Only Ivan. But while reading Crenshaw aloud to a first and third grader, I learned these things:

  • An imaginary friend who is a cat who wears a bubble beard is quite charming.
  • Fear of change, as well as frustration with losing control of your situation, is near and dear to every child.
  • Kids have big hearts when you explain the homeless problem and how it effects some children.

I really had some great conversations with my kids throughout our nightly reading of this novel. Of course, we had a hard time putting it down, and it was also quite entertaining. I love reading Applegate’s writing aloud, so I highly recommend this as a “read-together” book.

Here’s the description from B&N:

Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There’s no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again.

Crenshaw is a cat. He’s large, he’s outspoken, and he’s imaginary. He has come back into Jackson’s life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything?

Beloved author Katherine Applegate proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary.

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