Remember Harvey? Meet Crenshaw!

— feeling cat

CRENSHAW by Katherine Applegate

After my reading meltdown yesterday I wanted to read something that made me feel good.  Something light and maybe even a little fluffy?  I have had this book sitting on my shelf for a couple of weeks and it seemed to fit the bill.
I requested this book solely based on the cover – I love it!  Oh, don’t roll your eyes, I KNOW I am not the only person to do that.  As it turned out, I loved the book too.
Jackson’s family has always been on a little bit of a roller coaster ride when it came to financial stability.  When he was in grade one they spent 14 weeks living in their van – that’s when Crenshaw first appeared.  Jackson knew Crenshaw was an “imaginary” friend and surprisingly enough, Crenshaw knew it too.  But when someone needs a friend to help him or her get through the tough times sometimes the imaginary kind is the best kind.  Now Jackson is in grade six and once again his family faces the prospect of being evicted from their apartment and spending some time in the family car.  Once again, Crenshaw appears, but Jackson can’t figure this out … he’s too old to have an imaginary friend.  Crenshaw doesn’t think so!
Despite their financial hardships Jackson’s family has no shortage of love.  Jackson knows this and doesn’t understand why his parents are not being honest with him … when you have to go to Best Buy to watch the “big game” because your dad sold the television … you know something is wrong.
Crenshaw helps with that too.
This is a wonderfully written book about love, family, friends, hard times and keeping everything together.  The book is written for middle-graders and I would not hesitate to recommend it to child and adult alike.  It’s a feel good book … because really? … How can anyone resist a 7-foot tall imaginary cat who loves to take bubble-baths?
*I received this book through Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review*
ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from her Goodreads page)
Applegate was born in Michigan in 1956. Since then she has lived in Texas, Florida, California, Minnesota, Illinois, North Carolina, and after living in Pelago, Italy for a year, she has moved back to Southern California. She has an eleven year old son named Jake Mates, although she says the Animorph leader is not named after him. In 2003 she and her husband, Michael Grant, her co-author on many projects including Animorphs, adopted their daughter, Julia, in China.[citation needed] Following the end of Animorphs, Applegate took three years off. She is back at work and has written a picture book called "The Buffalo Storm," a middle reader novel called "Home of the Brave," and an early chapters series "Roscoe Riley Rules" with Harper Collins. Her book "Home of the Brave" has won the SCBWI Golden Kite Award, the Bank Street 2008 Josette Frank Award, and is a Judy Lopez Memorial Award honor book.