Crenshaw(Book Review)

“What bothered me most, though, was that i couldn’t fix anything. I couldn’t control anything. It was like driving a bumper car without a steering wheel. I kept getting slammed, and I just had to sit there and hold on tight.”

Katherine Applegate, Crenshaw


I came to this book with very high expectations after hearing so many positive reviews….yet sadly was massively underwhelmed.  I was a huge fan of “The One and Only Ivan” so was expecting something of a similar calibre…… however this book actually left me feeling pretty down.  I was disturbed by the irresponsible parenting exhibited and completely frustrated by the lame excuses and  shapeless, structureless, boundary-lacking home life this fragile family existed in.  I wanted to shake these parents up and scream at them(well kind of…I’m not really like that- however, it did anger me).


 Jackson must endure days of hunger and the insecurity of not knowing where he will sleep at night- having to live out of his parent’s minivan for extended periods.  Due to all of the stress he experiences- Jackson invents an imaginary friend- an enormous cat- whom he calls Crenshaw.  Through the outlet of venting his frustrations and worries to this  unusual creature- Jackson is able to persevere and manages to get by in school, miraculously.   The book has an unsatisfying ending as well… it is ill-defined; the problems faced due to his father’s unfortunate chronic medical condition of Multiple Sclerosis are not fully resolved- but perhaps,  this is the reality of the messy public healthcare system which exists in the United States today.  Sorry, I can’t recommend this book.




  1. Patricia Tilton · July 1, 2016

    I have been wanting to read and review this book. But, your comments made me wonder. It sounds like an incredibly sad story for the boy. Books should leave kids with hope. But, then life is messy. It does have a great cover!


    • libbyvine · July 2, 2016

      Great cover – but I found this extremely disappointing….


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