Crenshaw - 8 stars
Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate.  A book by the author of The One and Only Ivan, one of our favorites.  The story is told from Jackson's perspective as his family deals with financial difficulties, including food insecurity and potential eviction.  To cope with the uncertainty, Jackson creates an imaginary friend, Crenshaw, an oversized cat.  Through Crenshaw Jackson is able to come to terms with his feelings instead of bottling them up, and ultimately address them with his parents.  It is definitely a heavy subject matter, but I thought it was important to introduce Finn to these issues other children face on a daily basis.  Since we read it together, we could take breaks to address certain topics more fully.  For example, as the stress starts to overwhelm him, Jackson steals a few small items as a way of acting out.  After those chapters, Finn and I discussed why he stole and what he should have done instead.  Highly recommended. 

Suggested ages: 8-10

Finn - "I am giving this book 8 stars because I like how it talks about the family's money problems from Jack's perspective, but I didn't like that the author left the book on a cliff hanger.  They don't actually make it a closing.  And I think kids 8 and up would like this book because it's a little bit more serious.  Jack steals two things because he's feeling stressed and out of control.  And I think that is something a 6 year old would not get.  One funny part is when Crenshaw (Jack's imaginary friend) keeps appearing with a bubble beard in a bubble bath and makes negative comments about Jack having a dog."

This entry was posted by Melissa Manning in News 


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