Cover Love: OH YES!! I just completely adore this cover. I want to be on that park bench with Jackson and Crenshaw!
Why I Wanted to Read This:
Because of the cover and the synopsis. I am not as in tune to childhood hunger and I think I need to be for someone who works at a middle school so I was hoping this would give me some more insight. Here is the synopsis from GoodReads:
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.Romance?: Nope.
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?
Beloved author Katherine Applegate proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary.
I haven't read The One and Only Ivan, a travesty I know, nor any of the Animoprhs, so I think this is my first Katherine Applegate story. The writing is wonderful, fluid and descriptive. It was easy to stay in this story once I was there. Jackson is very sympathetic and is his little sister. His parents, however, are not.
I know there are mixed reviews on this book. I can totally understand that. It's a very real situation that Jackson's parents find themselves in, and you just want to shake the pride right out of them. I mean, how can someone be too proud to ask family members for help or to go to local services for help, yet not too proud to stand out with a cardboard sign. That just seems super false. Jackson's dad was diagnosed with MS. He has a medical issue. The fact that he is not going to his parents or siblings or that Jackson's mom isn't makes me scratch my head. I know that the one thing either set of my husband's or my parents would do is make sure that our kids are fed. Even if they didn't help out with rent, they would make sure my kids had food. Jackson's parents seemed so immature and childish. It was very frustrating to read.
Not only that, they don't let their kids know what is going on, yet their kids know. The parents need to open up, Jackson is way more wise than give him credit for! He is so stressed out by what is happening that his mind conjures up his imaginary friend from his younger childhood. I loved Crenshaw and his relationship with Jackson was very sweet, there just wasn't that much of it.
In the end things for Jackson and his family seem to get packaged up nicely, however, with the way Jackson's parents act I don't imagine it will be that good for long!
To Sum Up: I think this would be an important book for some of those kids that you know are in weird transition with their families. They are in and out of our school every year. It would be nice for them to see that they are not alone, however, most of them are probably in way worse situations than Jackson. I also think many kids who are no where close to Jackson's situation would enjoy this because it is a glimpse of a life that hopefully they will never know. I will be buying a few copies for my library.
Book requested and sent from Macmillan. Thanks so much!!