Article Title



Excellent, Primary, Intermediate, Young Adult, Katherine Applegate, Growing Up, Homeless, Imagination, Hope, Imaginary Friends

Document Type

Book Review


Being homeless is a bad dream for many, but for Jackson it’s a reality. After Jackson’s dad is diagnosed with a condition that keeps him from working, Jackson’s family is tight on money, short on food, and down on luck. Jackson wants his parents to give him the facts--he never much liked silly stories. So when his old imaginary friend shows up, Jackson wants nothing more than to get rid of him. Crenshaw is a giant cat who loves surfing, bubble baths, and purple jelly beans, and he’s not real. Jackson doesn't believe in imaginary friends anymore, and just wants Crenshaw to leave him alone. But when the family is evicted from their apartment and are once again living out of their minivan, Jackson realizes that maybe he needs Crenshaw now more than ever. Crenshaw teaches Jackson that a little imagination can go a long way, and that if he can just believe in good things to come, then the hard things he and his family are experiencing now will be bearable. Jackson learns once more to believe in hope and just a little bit of magic--and in purple jelly beans.