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Crenshaw is Katherine Applegate’s follow-up novel to her Newbery Award-winning, The One and Only Ivan. This is a heartwarming story of a boy who looks within himself to find friendship and support as his family faces hard times. This is a wonderful book to use for a novel study, literature circles, book clubs, or individual study in the classroom or home school.

Crenshaw is a beautiful, vividly written tale exploring the themes of friendship, homelessness, hope, forgiveness, and acceptance. This story is great to open students eyes to the plight of homelessness in an empathetic way that they can relate to.

Summary of Crenshaw:

*From the book jacket

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?

Beloved author Katherine Applegate proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary.

This is a great novel to accompany themes of:

  • Homelessness
  • Friendship
  • Overcoming obstacles
  • Imaginary friends

I offer a complete novel study to accompany Crenshaw for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

You can find this novel study in my TpT store by clicking the image below.

Crenshaw is a magical tale that shows that we can all find friendship and support in the toughest times by opening our hearts.



Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

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