Animorphs author Katherine Applegate (who ’90s kids know as K.A. Applegate) won the prestigious Newbery Medal for her last book, The One and Only Ivan, which has sat comfortably on the New York Times bestseller list for two years. Now, the celebrated author is back with Crenshaw, which follows a kid named Jackson whose family is short on food, and might have to live in their minivan again. One day, his childhood imaginary friend, a cat named Crenshaw, reappears. Can Crenshaw help Jackson and his family out of their dire situation? Check out the exclusive trailer above, and an excerpt below:


Excerpt from Crenshaw, Chapter 5:

The first time I met Crenshaw was about three years ago, right after first grade ended.

It was early evening, and my family and I had parked at a rest stop off a highway. I was lying on the grass near a picnic table, gazing up at the stars blinking to life.

I heard a noise, a wheels-on-gravel skateboard sound. I sat up on my elbows. Sure enough, a skater on a board was threading his way through the parking lot.

I could see right away that he was an unusual guy.

He was a black and white kitten. A big one, taller than me. His eyes were the sparkly color of morning grass. He was wearing a black and orange San Francisco Giants baseball cap.

He hopped off his board and headed my way. He was standing on two legs just like a human.

“Meow,” he said.

“Meow,” I said back, because it seemed polite.

He leaned close and sniffed my hair. “Do you have any purple jelly beans?”

I jumped to my feet. It was his lucky day. I just happened to have two purple jelly beans in my jeans pocket.

They were a little smushed, but we each ate one anyway.

I told the cat my name was Jackson.

He said yes, of course it is.

I asked him what his name was.

He asked what did I want his name to be.

It was a surprising question. But I had already figured out he was a surprising guy.

I thought for a while. It was a big decision. People care a lot about names.

Finally I said, “Crenshaw would be a good name for a cat, I think.”

He didn’t smile because cats don’t smile.

But I could tell he was pleased.

“Crenshaw it is,” he said.