Review of Katherine Applegate’s Crenshaw by guest reviewer Ella Sharpe, bookseller at The Younger Sun Children’s Bookshop in Melbourne.
Ten-year-old Jackson has perfected the art of tricking his body into thinking it’s not hungry. He and his little sister Robin are only allowed to eat their cereal (no milk) if they throw it into the baseball cap waaaaaaay across the room (the harder it is to get in, the longer it takes to eat, the less you realise you are hungry). Life has always been tough for Jackson’s family, but with the reappearance of his imaginary friend Crenshaw, a six-foot, bubble-bath-taking, talking cat, Jackson knows life is about to get a whole lot worse. The landlord is constantly knocking on the door, Cheerios are for breakfast, lunch and dinner and Jackson’s worried that they’re going to have to ‘camp’ in their minivan again.
Beautifully written, this book is a heartbreaking story about a child trying to understand adult problems so that he can help fix them. Crenshaw is equal parts tragic and uplifting, and of course there is comic relief in the form of a six-foot, bubble-bath-taking, talking cat. From the acclaimed author of The One and Only Ivan, this book is perfect for lovers of realism and the triumph of the human spirit.
Recommended for ages 8 and up.