Sunday, December 20, 2015

Book Review: Crenshaw

The cover art on this book drew me in. I recognized the author name as the author who wrote The One and Only Ivan. Sadly, we tried to read that book together a few years ago and just couldn't get into it at the outset. We set it aside and never picked it back up again, but Sean's classroom read the book together just recently and when he saw what I was reading, he, too, recognized the author name (wonderful to have a child who recognizes author names!).

Crenshaw was a tender, touching tale about a young boy (maybe not so young, since he is just entering fifth grade) who has an imaginary friend, a giant cat named Crenshaw. Crenshaw came into Jackson's life in first grade, but is making an unwelcome reappearance now because Jackson's family is heading for more hard times financially. Things are up in the air and Jackson is uncomfortable with the uncertainty of it all.

The book provides a sad glimpse into the lives of homeless families. It is a quick and easy read and the characters are genuinely likeable. This would make an excellent read-aloud for an elementary classroom. (My library shelved it with the tween books, but I'm doubting many middle school kids would find it appealing. I could be wrong.) For my part, I'm in love with the purplish hues and the giant cat profile on the cover. I don't know that it swayed me to try The One and Only Ivan again, but I would certainly consider another book by this author.

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