After reading, The One and Only Ivan, I decided to pick up another book by Katherine Applegate. At first, I wanted to read Crenshaw because I heard it was about a boy and his imaginary friend. Now, me being a person is who quite fond of my own imaginary friend, it always bothered me when people said that imaginary friends are only for children and people who are disturbed. That mentality never sat well with me. I've always believed that imaginary friends can be helpful for people. Especially for people who just need a friend there for them in their time of need. Therefore, I wanted to see Applegate's take on the subject. I wanted to see what she believed in... and I was not disappointed by her message.
Jackson's story is one of much hardship. Life is rough for his family. Work is not going so well for his parents, money is tight, and they can hardly pay for rent and food. And through all that, all the pain and uncertainty, there is one constant. One thing that helps Jackson cope with it all. And that is Crenshaw, his imaginary friend. The story about these two are so moving and loving. There's a lot of pain that goes with it... In fact, this story was especially hard for me to read because it hit too close to home multiple times throughout... but I just had to see it through to the end.
If you are someone who believes in imagination in all forms then I highly recommend you read this book. Applegate talks about how life is hard in a very matter-of-fact tone so to not undermine any children who may be reading this book because, as I've said many times before, children are a lot smarter than most adults give them credit for. However, she also talks about the magic to life as well. Teaching kids (and adults) that just because life is hard doesn't mean you can't enjoy the magic it brings with it.
I adore this book. This is only the second novel I've read by Katherine Applegate, but seeing as how much I've loved both of these books, I am definitely going to be reading more of her works in the future!