Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
Fifth grade may be too old to have an imaginary friend, but certainly too young to worry about homelessness. Jackson and his family are not strangers to hard times. When Jackson was in second grade, they lived in their minivan for an entire summer. During that summer, Jackson met Crenshaw, a rather large, opinionated talking cat. Crenshaw became Jackson’s friend and confidant throughout this tumultuous time. Three years later, the family is facing another serious set-back and Crenshaw is back to help Jackson deal with the truth about his situation. He must learn to tell the truth to others, but mostly to himself.
Confessions of an Imaginary Friend by Michelle Cuevas
This book was one of the most charming children’s books I’ve read in a long time! The story opens with Jacques lamenting that no one likes him, as he is rarely included in the goings-on around him. The reader discovers along with Jacques that he is not, in fact, Fleur’s twin brother, but her imaginary friend. We are taken on a journey with Jacques as he becomes the imaginary friend to a succession of children, some offering better experiences than others – but all are hilarious. This book would be an excellent “read-aloud” but be prepared to stop and offer explanations along the way. While Jacques is supposedly 8 years old, he speaks like a language professor. The vocabulary may prove challenging for younger readers but the story is well worth the effort!
This Youth book review was brought to you by Lisa Q. Harling. When not conducting Story Times or reading the best that kids’ authors have to offer, Lisa enjoys playing with her dogs and keeping up with her two adventurous sons. If you have suggestions for future book reviews, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.