Crenshaw is a cat, but not just any cat. He surfs, he skateboards, he turns cartwheels. He enjoys bubble baths, loves purple jelly beans, and chasing frogs. He even speaks like a human. Crenshaw was Jackson's imaginary friend back when Jackson was in first grade and his family were homeless. In fact, back then, Crenahaw was Jackson's only friend.
But that was then.
Now in 6th grade, Jackson has become obsessed with science and facts. Anything magical, fictional, and imaginary has no place in his life. Facts and truth are concrete. They're absoloute. They're something Jackson can hold onto. And Jackson especially needs that now, when there's less and less food, when his family has sold off everything but the bare essentials, and when his parents just won't be straight with him about the dire-ness of their situation. When Jackson's biggest fear is becoming homeless again and when it's looking more and more like that fear will come true. Facts, Jackson has decided, are something that will never let him down.
So why has Crenshaw suddenly come back into his life? Because maybe right now is when Jackson needs him more than ever.
Crenshaw, by Katherine Applegate, is one of the newest additions to our ever-growing Tween collection. And it was much deeper and more thought-provoking than I imagined (given that it's about an imaginaty cat, I expected sort of a light, fluffy story). However, it is very good and deals with some very real issues in a way children and younger teens can understand and relate to. I thoroughly enjoyed it. --AJB