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Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
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Crenshaw (original 2015; edition 2017)

by Katherine Applegate (Author)

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7136219,855 (4.06)24
Member:stacey.saulietis
Title:Crenshaw
Authors:Katherine Applegate (Author)
Info:Square Fish (2017), Edition: Reprint, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
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Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate (2015)

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    Wonder by R. J. Palacio (BeckyJG)
    BeckyJG: Both are similarly moving stories about approaching difficult issues with kindness and compassion.
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I expected this book to be about an imaginary friend, an imaginary cat. And there was a cat, a giant one named Crenshaw, who happens to be imaginary.

It opens really cute with a boy spotting Crenshaw on a surfboard.

But the reality of this boy’s life soon enters the story. Crenshaw made his first appearance when Jackson and his family had to live out of their minivan. His parents used to be musicians but his father has MS and his mother now works part-time jobs to get by.

And now, a few years later, he’s back again, when things seem to be not going as well. Jackson, who’s heading into fifth grade, wishes his parents would realize that he’s old enough to understand their financial difficulties. Jackson is scared that they have to go back to living in their car again.

And Crenshaw, with his cartwheels, splits, and penchant for bubble baths, both helps to distract him and understand their situation.

We listened to this audiobook and I was surprised by how much my kids enjoyed it. I had to stop the audiobook here and there just to make sure the 5yo (and sometimes the 8yo) understood what was going on. We haven’t quite read a book like Crenshaw before, one which talked about hunger and poverty and eviction. I had to explain about eviction – and as I did I was thankful that this was something we’ve never had to worry about. Perhaps it was because of this audiobook that I started on my current nonfiction read, Evicted. ( )
  RealLifeReading | May 10, 2019 |
Jackson and his family have been homeless before and are heading that way again. His father can no longer work full-time because of MS. His mother lost her job as a school music teacher when the budget was cut. I don't think we are aware of how many, many families are one paycheck away from disaster. Jackson likes facts, but the facts aren't helping now. And just like that, Crenshaw, his imaginary (or not-so-imaginary) cat friend comes back into his life to help him cope.

Homelessness is an important topic and stories need to be shared in order to help children—and adults—not only develop empathy for this problem, but come together for a solution. Putting it on our school library shelf immediately; wish I had known about it in 2015 when it first came out.

Katherine Applegate, you've written a beautifully touching story once again. ( )
  DonnaMarieMerritt | Feb 6, 2019 |
"Crenshaw" is the name of a large cat that is an imaginary friend to a boy named Jackson. Jackson is a boy that likes facts and dislikes being lied to. The story comes from the point of view of an older Jackson who also reflects on his time as a first grader when his family lived in their mini-van. He is worried that his family's current financial state might mean they will be living in their mini-van again sometime soon. Jackson struggles with making decisions that are right for himself and wishes his parents would be more honest about his family's hard times. Despite the serious topics of eviction, hunger, and unemployment, the book makes students laugh at the funny antics of the imaginary Crenshaw. ( )
  Brianna.Andrea | Jan 19, 2019 |
Jackson is a young boy who has an imaginary cat. The cat's name is Crenshaw. Crenshaw is there to help him and his family. His family is currently facing many hardships in life. Jackson recalls his time in which he lived in a van with his family. Living in the van was hard for him. Along the way of his families hardships, many people did help them. There is a part in the book in which Jackson reflects on life and admits that there are people out in the world who are currently facing much worse than what he and his family is. In the end, his family and he are able to stay in an apartment this apartment is old, but it is still better than his previous living conditions. I think this is a good book for the older grade levels to read because it is really eye-opening to hear all that Jackson is going through. But along the way, he is still thankful for what he has which I think is the moral of the story. I could see myself reading this in the classroom to teach children about poverty, the different social classes and no matter what the case may be at the end of the day everything will be okay. ( )
  Salma.Mart | Nov 26, 2018 |
This book portrays the story of a boy who has a poor family relationship and is homeless. He has an imaginary friend, a cat, who is introduced halfway and shows the reader the reality of fantasy, reality, friendship, homelessness, and family relationships. This book could be recommended for a 3rd-6th grader as an independent level reading book. ( )
  MayraVasquez | Nov 26, 2018 |
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Epigraph
Dr. Sanderson: "Think carefully, Dowd. Didn't you know somebody, sometime, someplace by the name of Harvey? Didn't you ever know anybody by that name?" / Elwood P. Dowd: "No, no, not one, Doctor. Maybe that's why I always had such hopes for it." -Mary Chase, "Harvey" (1944)
Dedication
for Jake
First words
I noticed several weird things about the surfboarding cat.
Quotations
A door is to open. -from "A Hole Is to Dig: A First Book of First Definitions" written by Ruth Krauss and illustrated by Maurice Sendak
Mashed potatoes are to give everybody enough. - from "A Hole Is to Dig: A First Book of First Definitions" written by Ruth Krauss and illustrated by Maurice Sendak
the world is so you have something to stand on. -from "A Hole Is to Dig: A First Book of First Definitions" written by Ruth Krauss and illustrated by Maurice Sendak
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"A story about a homeless boy and his imaginary friend that proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary"--

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