There is a book that lives in my heart, that makes me tear up when I hear it mentioned. You might know it too, and if you don't, remedy immediately. That book is Katherine Applegate's wonderful The One and Only Ivan. I think I became a different person, a better person, when I read that book. With that knowledge, I was a bit apprehensive about reading Applegate's newest book, Crenshaw. Would I compare it to Ivan the entire time I was reading it? Would I still love it? I shouldn't have worried.
Crenshaw is a completely different book than Ivan, yet it had a similar impact. Here is the story of Jackson. A child who feels more at home with facts and non-fiction than surrounded by story. Much to Jackson's dismay, he had an imaginary friend when he was in first grade, a skateboard riding cat named Crenshaw. This frustrated Jackson because he likes things that can be explained, and Crenshaw cannot. Jackson has not seen Crenshaw for several years, but now he is back and larger than ever. Jackson would love nothing more than for Crenshaw to disappear, for his parents to stop fighting, and for his family to have enough money so that he and his little sister can stop being hungry. This isn't the time for silly things like cats that no one else can see, or is it?
I fell hard for Jackson and Crenshaw. I have had too many students who would identify with the hard times Jackson and his family are going through. I know that there would be some comfort in just reading that there are others out there, like them.
What I loved most of all was the heart that was at the center of this book.This book inspires you to want to do more, to help more. Applegate, her publisher, and many bookstores have felt that and have organized food drives to go along with the release of Crenshaw. If you want to learn more, read about that effort HERE.
Here is the book trailer for Crenshaw
And MacMillan is being kind enough to give away one copy of Crenshaw to one of my readers. Please enter below for your chance to win this amazing book.