Hope and Other Punchlines by Julie Buxbaum This. Book. It…
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. -Amazon
I chose this book because I have read One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate and absolutely loved it. I also read it because it was in the Sweet Sixteen of the March Book Madness 2017 that I am doing with my students.
At first glance: I absolutely loved the cover. It was eye-catching with a little boy sitting with a large cat. Immediately, you began to wonder what it would be about and why there was a large cat. The pages also had silhouettes of cats on them.
My thoughts: I read this book quickly because it was a shorter book and the story kept me moving. I wondered what would happen to Jackson’s family and why his imaginary friend was back. I have never experienced homelessness, but I have had students who struggle and it really made my heart hurt to read about this family’s struggles. All too often, we live in our bubble and forget others’ struggles-this book brought that into perspective. I was disappointed with the ending, which is why I gave it 4 stars. I wasn’t ready for it to end and I had too many questions.
I do recommend this book as it teaches valuable lessons on family and empathy as well as poverty. I do recommend that you read One and Only Ivan to get the full appreciation of what Katherine Applegate can do in her writing.