Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 2 - 5S3.825361

In her first novel since The One and Only Ivan, winner of the Newbery Medal, 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. This title has Common Core connections.


Hardcover, 256 pages
Published on September 22, 2015 by Feiwel & Friends
ISBN-10: 1250043239
ISBN-13: 9781250043238
67 Book Reviews
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  • MaddieWednesday, June 5, 2019 at 11:37 am
    I think the book is awesome and I love all the detail in it i think it will be one of my favorite books πŸ˜›
    • MaxyMonday, May 20, 2019 at 4:31 pm
      uh i havent finished it and i really want to so pls help me out!
      • nicholasMonday, March 11, 2019 at 7:29 am
        i loved this book
        • LyndaThursday, March 7, 2019 at 4:43 pm
          I loved this book. My language teacher recommended it to me and I thought it was a great book. It was a little under my level (8th grade) but I thought the plot line was awesome. I just sat for like 1 and a half hours just reading because I loved it so much. If you like fiction, I definitely recommend!
          • dizzyjelly
            dizzyjellySaturday, January 26, 2019 at 12:57 pm44 stars
            This is a really good book! In Crenshaw, 5th grade Jackson reunites with his old imaginary friend, Crenshaw, a huge kitten with big green eyes and a like for purple jellybeans, just like Jackson, who first met Jackson when he finished 1st grade. Now, a 5th grader, Crenshaw is spotted surfing on the beach, holding up an umbrella. That's really not the point of surfing. Later, When Jackson sees Crenshaw taking a bath, he's like- What are you doing here? This is what Jackson learns from Crenshaw: Imaginary friends are always with their real friends, They're just waiting for the right time to come back, assuming there is. It's like they're just sitting on a couch, waiting for the phone to ring. It rang. (That was kind of a metaphor, I don't know. Plus, I'm not even up to that part yet. I skipped.)
            • stellaisthecoolSaturday, January 12, 2019 at 5:28 pm
              it was amazing, I love this author
              • stellaluna
                stellalunaSaturday, November 24, 2018 at 8:36 am55 stars
                It can be a heartbreaking book. His sister is just trying to adjust to the change, and his parents are just struggling. Living in a car would be hard with a family that is quite big for fitting in a car. It makes me smile when Crenshaw is there. HE may not be real, but he can guide you through your brain. HE can help with realizing that your life is not as hard as others. I thank Jackson for realizing that! Thank you Katherine Applegate for making such an amazing book!
                • Will SmithMonday, November 12, 2018 at 5:45 pm
                  It’s really boring
                  • stellaluna
                    stellalunaSaturday, November 24, 2018 at 8:32 am55 stars
                    Well it is if you do not connect to it!
                  • sofiablanco
                    sofiablancoMonday, September 24, 2018 at 12:12 pm
                    I like how it tells about how a boy has never had an imaginary friend and probably the saddest part is that his mom and dad are having trouble paying for food and a house then they end up living in there own car that part made me realize i am lucky to have a home and food so thanks mom and dad.
                    • payton_flusche
                      payton_fluscheMonday, April 23, 2018 at 8:52 am44 stars
                      i liked it but i don't know if will read it again. :(