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.
Young Adult literature, or YA, has been a genre dominated by white authors and characters, but this is changing. In the past couple years, two debut novels by African-American women have taken the YA world and bestseller lists by storm: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (2017) and The Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (2018). If you haven’t read them yet, you should.
Audiobooks are all the rage in publishing right now. This Forbes article tells us that digital audiobook revenue rose 32.1 percent in 2018’s first quarter. People are turning to audiobooks to get their reading done more than ever. Below are my favorite young adult audiobooks I’ve listened to so far.
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.
Connie King Leonard is the author of Sleeping in My Jeans, a YA novel about a teen girl who has to live out of her car with her mother and young sister. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Connie to discuss what inspired her to write a book about being homeless, what message she hopes it will send, and the unique protagonist at the center of it all—Mattie Rollins.