Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Crenshaw - by Applegate Review and Giveaway!


Crenshaw
by Katherine Applegate (Goodreads Author)
Hardcover, 256 pages
Expected publication: September 22nd 2015 by Feiwel & Friends
ISBN 1250043239 (ISBN13: 9781250043238)

Goodreads Blurb:
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 save this family from losing everything?

Source: ARC from publisher

My Thoughts:

There is so much to love about this book. (Be sure to enter the giveaway for a copy down below!)

Crenshaw is timely, yet also timeless. So many kids are struggling in families who are just barely making ends meet. This is something that, unfortunately, is a very timely topic. Yet there are not so many "current day" references that this book won't also help kids in the future who face similar challenges and fears.

The writing is excellent. I loved the way Applegate describes everything. She has such poetry and fun in her writing and word choices. The rich language is perfect for my student population - upper elementary students with strong vocabulary.
     "Dad says his uncle was a charming curmudgeon, which I think means grumpy with some niceness thrown in." 

A frequent complaint about middle grade books is that we have to lose a parent - or have awful parents - to give the protagonist the space to grow. This is a fabulous example of a child who grows and learns AND has a loving set of parents, a realistic sibling bond, and a close friend. I loved the relationships in this book, and I think my students are also going to love them.


My favorite part about this book, though, is that imagination goes hand in hand with knowledge. Sometimes kids feel like if they are "fact kids" - science kids - they have to leave imagination behind. I love how both are blended into this sweet boy. The voice of Jackson rings true to what I know about my students. They are creative, and imaginative, and just a little bit worried that others will find them strange. They are going to giggle along with his odd sense of humor...


     "I like facts. Always have. True stuff. Two-plus-two-equals-four facts. Brussels-sprouts-taste-like-dirty-gym-socks facts.
     Okay, maybe that second one's just an opinion. And anyway, I've never eaten a dirty gym sock so I could be wrong."

How could you NOT love that kid?


Student Response:

So far my students have only seen the cover and heard me talk about the book. Still, I got immediate responses of "I want to read that!" and "I'm putting that one on my list!".

You need to put this one on your list. I know I'm going to make sure I have a few copies of Crenshaw in my classroom library!


Book Trailer:





Katherine Applegate is the author of the bestselling Animorphs series and the novels Home of the Brave and The One and Only Ivan, winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal. She lives with her husband, author Michael Grant, and their two children in Northern California.

http://www.mackidsbooks.com/crenshaw/


You can read a post Katherine Applegate wrote for the Nerdy Book Club for Crenshaw's book birthday here!

https://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2015/09/22/no-easy-way-to-say-it-by-katherine-applegate/




BOOK GIVEAWAY!

(With thanks to the publisher, who offered to give away a copy of Crenshaw to someone from my blog)

Let's keep it simple, shall we? Just enter your name and email address in the form below. I'd love if you left a comment, but it's not required. 

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