Wednesday, January 30, 2019

CRENSHAW by Katherine Applegate


Jackson remembers first grade and the first appearance of his imaginary friend. It was a cat named Crenshaw. Now Jackson is in fifth grade, and Crenshaw has made another appearance. What kid in fifth grade has an imaginary friend? What if that imaginary friend is a larger than life cat who loves taking bubble baths and doing cartwheels?

Life keeps throwing Jackson and his family curveballs. Money is tight even though both his parents work multiple jobs. His mother was once a music teacher, but the program was cut at her school. Now she works wherever she can get a job. Jackson's dad used to have a decent paying job, but then he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He works when he can, but he is weak and often walks with a cane.

Memories of living in the family minivan for fourteen weeks are still fresh in Jackson's mind. Two adults, a little sister, and a smelly dog make living in a car a mostly unpleasant experience. That's when Jackson met Crenshaw for the first time.

Now Jackson's family is in danger of losing their apartment at Swanlake Village. It is entirely possible that they will have to resort to living in their van yet again. Maybe that's why Crenshaw has made a reappearance. Maybe he's just the kind of friend Jackson needs at the moment.

Author Katherine Applegate explores the world of the homeless in her novel CRENSHAW. One in five children in the U.S. are hungry, and many are victims of poverty because their parents are forced to work low wage jobs that can't provide the basic necessities - food, clothing, and shelter. CRENSHAW is a tale that will connect with readers of all ages as it reveals a secret life lived by far too many.

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