Another New Favorite Book for Upper Elementary 
Crenshaw - another new favorite for upper elementary students
I added this book to the library last spring after reading several wonderful reviews of it. At the time I hadn't read it yet, and when I showed it to students, some of them found the cover photo kind of strange and weren't willing to give it a try. Now that I've read it myself, hopefully I can get it into the hands of more readers because it is an excellent book. The narrator is 10-year old Jackson. He's looking forward to 5th grade, but he's also feeling a little worried. There seem to be problems at home: piles of unpaid bills and quietly arguing parents who haven't had steady jobs or reliable health insurance since his dad got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. When a human-sized cat who walks on his hind legs, Crenshaw, shows up again, it reminds Jackson of a time several years ago when "it" happened, and his imaginary friend Crenshaw helped him cope. Now that Crenshaw's back, Jackon's afraid. Is "it" going to happen again? Will he get to go to the same school this year? Will his parents tell him what is really going on? Is everything going to be okay?

There are no easy answers for Jackson as his family struggles to avoid homelessness. This was an eye-opening story for me about how a family who does many things right can still end up in desperate circumstances. Although it's sometimes tough to see the plight from the eye's of a child, reading a book like Crenshaw can bring understanding and compassion to any reader. I highly recommend this for our upper elementary readers who like realistic stories and want to learn what life is like for others.
Posted by kparker On 9/2/2016 at 8:21 AM  

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