Jackson's family has never been rich, but things are getting tougher for them. Jackson and his sister play "cerealball" in order to make their meals last longer, and they've sold just about everything in their house. Jackson is really hoping his family doesn't end up living in their car again. When Crenshaw, Jackson's imaginary friend from childhood, shows up again, Jackson isn't sure what to think. Crenshaw is imaginary: that's a fact. But it's also a fact that Crenshaw is very obviously there.
This is one of the very few middle grade books I've read that addresses child hunger and poverty. Jackson's parents aren't abusive, but even with their multiple part-time jobs, they aren't able to make enough money for Jackson to eat. They absolutely love him, but they are trapped in a cycle of poverty and Jackson is getting increasingly frustrated by his inability to help out. This is an excellent peek into a child's view of poverty and a timely read for all who work with children.
Recommended for: middle grade readers
Red Flags: none
Overall Rating: 5/5 stars
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley for the purposes of review.