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3.99  ·  Rating details ·  25,325 ratings  ·  3,803 reviews
In her first novel since winning the Newbery Medal, Katherine Applegate delivers an unforgettable and magical story about family, friendship, and resilience.

Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There's no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again.

Crenshaw is a cat.
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 22nd 2015 by Feiwel & Friends
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H.B I believe not. Although i never read this book, i researched and i am pretty sure there is no sequel.
Sara Our school chose this book as one to be read by families over a month long period. All grades K-5 read this book; parents read aloud to children as re…moreOur school chose this book as one to be read by families over a month long period. All grades K-5 read this book; parents read aloud to children as research has been positive regarding the benefits of reading together. I feel it was an appropriate choice.(less)

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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  25,325 ratings  ·  3,803 reviews

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Elyse  Walters
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I began this book blind as a bat.... making this my 2nd children’s book - [ books for ‘all’ ages], by Katherine Apple.

Issues: sensitive issues explored .....through creative compassionate storytelling by a very skillful author.

Once I started it - I could not put it down.
Jackson - our 11 year old narrator is a little ‘too adult’... at times... but oh sooo lovable!!!!He’s aware of his parents struggles - the family problems - and wishes to help.

Thank goodness Jackson has an imaginary friend tha
Nov 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
I read so many books to my children. I love to read to them; to watch them transformed by a story; to listen to their brilliant assessments and fascinating questions; to see them fully engaged in the wonder of a book. I have considered reviewing every book I read next year (including all children's literature & picture books) but I fear my small group of friends here might be bored to tears with me if I did. I have read some pretty amazing books for children and unfortunately, this is not one of ...more
Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
“I can see my imaginary friend. I can hear him. I can talk to him. He is using a towel.”

Crenshaw is the type of book that should be read in school. It reads simple but packs a punch and delivers a very important message. Crenshaw is about a young boy going through a very difficult time with his family. His family has hit a real low with their fiances and they find themselves having to sell their belongings just to be able to eat most nights. They've also been reduced to sleeping in
Hannah Greendale
Sep 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Crenshaw follows the story of Jackson, a no-nonsense boy who prefers facts over stories and wants to be an animal scientist. Oh, and he has an imaginary friend who's a giant cat.

This surprising little book packs an emotional punch. Jackson's parents are in serious financial trouble; their stressful circumstances are taking a toll on Jackson. Mom and Dad remain cheerful and upbeat, putting on a happy face for their kids, but Jackson is no dummy. He knows times are bad and, whether he likes it or
I knew nothing of this book before going in but it was supposed to be good. WOW! Love. It seems like this book will be about an imaginary friend and it is. Then Katherine Applegate super ninja's you and she gives only hints about Crenshaw the imaginary cat and she shows you the raw painful world of Jackson and the life he leads. This book is about poverty. The end does address the help Imaginary friends give. What an amazing fantastic book. It is so raw and real. I am so affected by this book. I ...more
Nov 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
First off, for a book titled Crenshaw & the cover depicting the cat, I expected him to have a much larger impact on the book than he actually did. Crenshaw is Jackson's imaginary friend (as mentioned, IF's come into lives mostly during times of stress), so Applegate had a massive opportunity to make Crenshaw a positive character aiding Jackson in a vulnerable time of need. Instead, she chooses to have Crenshaw make periodic appearances with ridiculously cliche lines, completely ruining his chara ...more
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So this was a surprisingly fast read despite the very dark topic (I took the book with me this morning but didn't actually start reading it until this afternoon on the train).
The book is clearly for children but I'll be damned if adults (no matter if they already have children of their own or not) can't learn a lot from it too!

The story is about the boy Jackson, his parents and his little sister Robin. The parents are failed musicians turned whatnots and they are in deep financial trouble (also
If you want to move a student up a reading ladder that pairs the heartbreak and hope of Eve Bunting's YARD SALE with the emotion and imagination of THE ADVENTURES OF BEEKLE by Dan Santat, look no further than Katherine Applegate's newest novel CRENSHAW. ...more
The last book I read aloud to my husband before he died was The One and Only Ivan. All I could think as I read this was I wish I had someone to read it aloud to. I loved The twitter picture of a school's collection of items to donate to their local homeless shelter. There is so much to feel and talk about in this slim book.

As I read I found a favorite quote and said oh, I need to remember the page. Turns out it was 222, my favorite number. "Imaginary friends are like books. We're created, we're
Nov 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
[3.5 Stars]
This is a lot more sad than I was expecting it to be. Homelessness is rough, and this book shows some of the stress and anxiety involved in that.

I think this book focused a bit too much on Jackson's past experiences rather than on what is happening with him and his family in the current timeline. I also thought we were going to spend more time with Jackson and Crenshaw together, but Crenshaw is less present than I would have hoped. I enjoyed the story, reading it in one sitting, but
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
So a few of my friends are teachers, and they typically teach late elementary/early middle school age children. This cropped up on my Goodreads page a few times and I liked the cover, didn’t know anything about it, so I read it.

I did not realise until I started it that it was probably meant for 8 to 10 year olds, since the main character is about to enter 5th grade. But, you know what? I’m overjoyed that I read it. It was wholesome and pure and I’m not even a little bit sorry to have spent that
Abby Johnson
Wow... just wow....

With masterful characterization, Katherine Applegate has painted a portrait of a family struggling to make ends meet and the effects that has on the children in the family. Jackson remembers what it was like when his family had to live in their van, and he's afraid that those times are coming back. Now that he's entering fifth grade, he's old enough to want to do something about it, but how can he help when his parents want to keep him and his little sister in the dark?

Victoria Scott
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Short, beautiful read. It's MGs like this that make me want to write them. ...more
Nov 08, 2015 rated it liked it
A sweet, but somewhat meandering story about a boy named Jackson and his family struggling in difficult economic and health circumstances. His father has MS and had to quit his construction job, leaving the parents with a series of part-time jobs. The book explores the subjects of poverty and homelessness and their effect on children, with Jackson discussing his problems with his imaginary friend, a large cat named Crenshaw. Jackson's relationship with Marisol is one of the highlights in the sto ...more
Aug 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Why do you have to understand everything? I like not knowing everything. It makes things more interesting.

So What’s It About? (from Goodreads)

“Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There’s no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again.
Crenshaw is a cat. He’s large, he’s outspoken, and he’s imaginary. He has come back into Jackson’s life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to sav
Suad Shamma
Oct 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, 2015, own
I really loved this book, a lot more than I thought I would. Even though it is considered a children's middle grade book, but the themes it discusses are serious enough to allow even adults, and especially parents, to relate to it and to become invested with the characters.

This book discusses imaginary friends and the role they play in a child's life. Especially a child that needs to have an imaginary friend in his or her life because of what their reality is lacking. In Jackson's case, his ima
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even better then expected! What a beautiful and inspiring story. A book about a family having a hard-time and how a young boy try to deal with it using his imaginary friend. Yeah the ending was a bit cheesy and everything seem to work and fit into place a bit too easily but it's a children book so for me that wasn't a problem. I like the hard subject and the importance of talking about it, so children would understand some of our modern reality and will also see that they're probably more lucky ...more
Dec 02, 2016 rated it liked it

I chose this as an audio book to listen to in the car with my kids on the way to school each morning. Their interest came and went, and I finally ended up finishing the book on my own.

I thought the story and message was pretty good, but it was based on bleak material - the struggle of a family against homelessness and ensuring they had enough to eat. Needless to say, the majority of the story was depressing, so perhaps not the best option for an audio book during these dark and dreary rainy morn
Franki Sibberson
Love:-) Possible 3rd grade read aloud for later in the year.
Melanie  Brinkman
The world makes far too little sense if you do not believe in nonsense.

The last thing Jackson wants is to live in the minivan again. But his family can't afford to pay rent, get food, or much else. When the overwhelming feeling returns, is there anywhere he can go for some relief?

Enter Crenshaw, Jackson's former imaginary best friend. He has no idea why the big cat has reappeared; its not as bad as he anticipated. What if the truth lies in the fiction?

Imagination is invaluable in the inbetween t
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
My 4 star rating is on how the subject matter made me feel. It's hard for me to throw out 5's unless the plot was amazing. A boy and his family go into near homelessness for the second time, ready to live in their minivan. Crenshaw, the imaginary cat reappears when Jackson needs him the most. The father has MS and is too proud to ask for help. The mother has 3 part time jobs and still cannot provide enough to pay the rent. It is heartbreaking to know 1 in 5 children are near starvation in this c ...more
Carol (Reading Ladies)
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate is a beautifully and creatively written middle grade story exploring poverty, homelessness, and imaginary friends. Because the content of this book builds compassion and the topic of homelessness might worry some readers, I'm recommending it as an excellent “read together” book.

As a teacher at a Title 1 school where the student population often experienced poverty and homelessness, I made many personal connections with this story which enriched my reading experien
Ms. Yingling
Jun 29, 2015 rated it liked it
E ARC from

Jackson and Robin's parents are struggling to make ends meet. They are both artistic, and have tried to take whatever jobs they can to earn money, but Jackson's father has multiple sclerosis, and this makes matters even more difficult. When the family is behind on rent and low on food, they decide to hold a yard sale to try to make up the difference. About this time, Jackson is revisited by Crenshaw, a giant yet invisible talking cat who last appeared when he was younger
The Captain
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Ahoy there me mateys! This was an audiobook that I picked up for two reasons: 1) the author previously won the Newbery Medal and 2) it has a giant cat on the cover.

The cat was supposed to be both invisible and magic. I had assumed that the story would be lighthearted and that the cat and little boy would get into all kinds of adventures. This book had a way more serious tone. It was about a struggling boy named Jackson. His mom lost her job and his dad has MS. They are poor and about to lose the
Julia Sapphire
3.25 stars

“Imaginary friends are like books. We're created, we're enjoyed, we're dog-eared and creased, and then we're tucked away until we're needed again.”

This book is such a quick and enjoyable read! This book had themes of imaginary friends, friendship, family, financial issues, magic and sibling relationships. I enjoyed some of the analogues in this book, I felt Applegate did a good job of comparing two things to make one seem more understandable to younger readers.

"I felt like I al
Angus Killick
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow, I read this in one fell swoop and loved every single word! This is such a taught and beautifully crafted piece of writing. A boy and his imaginary friend, Crenshaw, weather the storms of a difficult life at home when his family fall on hard times. Jackson, tries to resist his fantastical friend by denying his 'need' for him, but eventually the relationship finds a place of acceptance and life is easier to bear. Brilliantly written in short economic chapters, with such warmth and gentle humo ...more
Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Two years ago I discovered a little gem called, "The One and Only Ivan" and that book literally made me see literature and storytelling in a different way.

Applegate's newest character, Crenshaw is a large black and white cat; he's sarcastic, wise, and loyal. To 10 year old Jackson he is a friend and forces Jackson to stay innocent and hold onto the magic in life, because Crenshaw is imaginary.

I read this book in one sitting. The message is beautiful. Applegate has done it again, writing childr
Marisa Bisaccia [book whisperer]
If it wasn't for the reading challenge I am in I, would of never read this book. However, it's a decent book about being honest and living life. If you want a quick and fun book I would say give it a shot. ...more
Mary Ann
May 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I find that my students particularly respond to books that touch their hearts, that talk honestly about how kids can survive through difficult times, about how we can keep hold of hope even though everything seems like it's about to crumble around us. I can't wait to share Crenshaw, Katherine Applegate's newest novel, with my students and friends.

Jackson knows that his parents are worried about having enough money for rent. And he's noticed that lately, the cupboards seem pretty bare. But he's a
Faseeh Ilahi
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook
So this morning I finished "Crenshaw" by Katherine Applegate.

Rating: 4.5/5 🌟

The story basically follows Jackson, who is just a small boys. But unlike most of the small boys, he believes in fact.

Jackson family has been going through some tough time lately. Due to which they might have to leave there home and live in a minivan again.
Then Crenshaw appear who is an imaginary friend of Jackson. And he tells him that he has came to help Jackson.

It has some excellent friendship vibes. It has some real
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External/Internal Conflict 2 18 Mar 25, 2020 10:52AM  
Howard County Lib...: Book Recommendation: Crenshaw 3 35 Jul 03, 2019 08:15AM  
Play Book Tag: Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate - 4 stars 2 17 Jan 22, 2017 09:57PM  

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Katherine Applegate is the author of The One and Only Ivan, winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal. Her novel Crenshaw spent over twenty weeks on the New York Times children's bestseller list, and her first middle-grade stand-alone novel, the award-winning Home of the Brave, continues to be included on state reading lists, summer reading lists, and class reading lists.

Katherine has written three picture

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Summer is perfect for plenty of things: mojitos, sleeping with the window fan on, and sprawling out with a hot romance novel (in a heavily...
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“Imaginary friends are like books. We're created, we're enjoyed, we're dog-eared and creased, and then we're tucked away until we're needed again.” 42 likes
“Fun fact, Jackson. You can't see sound waves, but you can hear music.” 9 likes
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