In 2016, Scholastic conducted a survey on over two thousand US children ages six to seventeen and found that when it came to reading, boys generally do not like it as much as girls do.
Sleeping in My Jeans by Connie Kind Leonard is a powerful book that highlights the struggles of homelessness through the journey of sixteen-year-old Mattie that she, her mother, and her sister are forced to face after a domestic abuse dispute. While carrying the question of where she will sleep at night, Mattie also has to juggle the pressures and tribulations of high school, boys and sisterhood. After the disappearance of their mother, Mattie is pushed to fight against the threat of starvation and ultimately, the threats to young women who appear homeless.
Empathy is not so much feeling something about a character, but feeling something with a character. It is not only being sorry for a character when they struggle and happy when they succeed—it’s about the reader experiencing those trials and victories as if they were their own. And when those trials and victories are rooted in immediate real-world issues, there’s more at stake than well-written characterization.
Set to publish in Fall 2018, Sleeping in My Jeans follows sixteen-year-old Mattie Rollins as her life gets turned upside down. When Mattie’s mother packs the family and as many clothes as they can carry into their beat-up station wagon, Mattie hopes it’s only for one night. But as the days go on and Mattie’s mother still isn’t able to find them housing, the reality of their situation begins to sink in.
Sleeping in My Jeans will publish fall 2018, but in the meantime check out these similar YA titles. If you enjoy them, you’ll be sure to fall in love with Sleeping in My Jeans.