81PCI1aoW+LKatherine Applegate’s Crenshaw surprised me. The cover image made me think I was going to read a children’s fantasy novel, but instead I went on an emotional journey with Jackson and his family.

Crenshaw, an imaginary cat-friend, reappears in Jackson’s life as his family experiences chronic illness, unemployment and homelessness.

Applegate adeptly takes us into the heart and mind of a child facing difficult living situations, while undergirding it with humor and loving family relationships.

For children in the middle grades at over two-hundred pages, I highly recommend Crenshaw. Be sure to have a box of tissues nearby.

Applegate, Katherine. Crenshaw. Square Fish, 2015.

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