Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Crenshaw

I didn't love The One and Only Ivan as much as the rest of the world, but was hopeful about Crenshaw after Mr. Schu gushed about it on Twitter. I admit that I liked this better and see a need for the book, but I still don't think it will be of interest to my students.

Jackson's family has always lived on the edge of poverty and they are about to cross over again. His parents are selling all their belongings and it looks like they will be living in their minivan again. It is then that his childhood imaginary friend Crenshaw, a giant cat, appears to comfort him. But isn't fifth grade too old for an imaginary friend?

I liked how Crenshaw helped Jackson through a rough patch and how the story made imaginary friends seem normal. I also think it's important for kids to hear about other children who are just like them, but don't have enough to eat or are worried about where they will live.

However. Similar to Ivan, the story felt fairly stark and sad, which doesn't appeal to the students in my class. I could see it as a read aloud, but I don't think it would be a very fun experience for anyone involved.

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