“Meantime, I was going to enjoy the magic while I could.”

Crenshaw

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By: Katherine Applegate

Genre: Fiction

Published: Feiwel and Friends – New York, NY, September 22nd, 2015

Awards: New York Times Bestseller, Keystone to Reading Book Award Nominee for Intermediate (2017), Capitol Choices 2016, Goodreads Choice Awards 2015 for Middle Grades & Children’s, 2016 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award Recommended Book

Themes: As one reads the captivating story of Jackson, a 5th grade boy, and his imaginary friend – Crenshaw the cat – one experiences simultaneously the books themes. The themes in the book are homelessness/poverty, hope, truth, and magic.

Summary: As the main character Jackson and his family experience, yet again, another  battle of poverty and homelessness an old faithful feline reappears. Crenshaw, Jackson’s imagery friend and surf boarding/bubble bath taking cat, appears just when Jackson needs him to help make since of what is going on in his life. Crenshaw is there for Jackson in his time of need, and is Jackson experiences the hard truth, growing up, and even a little bit of magic – curtesy of Crenshaw.

Response: What values were conveyed through this book? How were these values or social views conveyed to the reader?

The values of hope, love, and family are conveyed as Jackson’s family experience the battle with something all too real for many people: poverty. Through out the book, Jackson learns the importance of family and the existence of Crenshaw, as this large tuxedo cat pushes him to talk with his parents about the situations that they are going through, and is there for Jackson just when he needs him. These are brought to the reader from Katherine Applegate’s writing, as she writes from Jackson’s point of view. As well, Crenshaw instills the aspects of hope and love to Jackson and his situation – proving to be a puurrrfect companion.

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