For MMGM, I am recommending Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate.
Here's the publisher's description:
In her first novel since winning the Newbery Medal, New York Times bestselling author 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 book is incredible! I should say now that this book is much sadder than many of the others that I have recommended recently. However, that, of course, does not diminish how touching it is. Crenshaw deftly portrays a financially troubled family, with children very aware of what their parents are not telling them. As Jackson, the narrator, both describes what is happening to his family presently and their past experience of living in their car, readers will understand, more than ever, what this family and similar ones in the real world are going through. Crenshaw, Jackson's realistic imaginary friend from the past who returns during the book, adds a touch of humor and warmth to the novel, as do Jackson's family members and friend, Marisol. Crenshaw is a book that everyone should read for its incredible depiction of real-life struggles, compelling characters, and sheer display of hope in the world.