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G06: L&L Fitting In: Crenshaw

Literature expresses the challenges of growing up

If you liked Crenshaw .... try these

Why read Crenshaw?

In her first novel since winning the Newbery Medal, New York Times bestselling author Katherine Applegate delivers an unforgettable and magical story about family, friendship, and resilience.

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.

Power Words

Find the meaning of these words online or in a dictionary:

  • curmudgeon
  • keepsake
  • volition
  • optimist
  • pessimist
  • observant
  • volition
  • gratuity
  • paleontologist
  • conscience
  • poseurs
  • altruist

Teacher resources

Katherine Applegate



Jackson and Robin’s parents are both musicians, and music is very important to them; in fact, they named their children after the companies that made their guitars. Listen to this music featured in the book.