The Journal of Jenny September
Jenny's teacher required her students to keep a daily journal, but never expected the truly extraordinary document that 12-year-old Jenny turned in. ... Show synopsis Jenny's teacher required her students to keep a daily journal, but never expected the truly extraordinary document that 12-year-old Jenny turned in. At the beginning of the year, her mother leaves, and Jenny and her father are soon homeless. Father and daughter go through several stages of homelessness. They first live in a VW "bug," spending the nights in parking lots until the police catch them. They next call a self-storage unit home until they are found out. A bus becomes home, too. At each stage Jenny writes of the difficulties and problems involved in the downward drift. Through it all, Jenny manages to keep up with her school work. One of the warm, safe havens for her is the library, where she can do her homework. Jenny makes friends at the beginning of the school year with a girl from a prosperous home. This is a friendship that dies as poverty and homelessness overtake Jenny. She is, however, befriended by a Black male classmate who is homeless and parentless, and who knows that Jenny is homeless even though she is trying to hide it from her classmates. He introduces Jenny and her father to life under a bridge amid the flower beds of a park and a babbling brook. In a very humiliating incident, her former girl friend and her circle discover that Jenny is homeless. The ice-cream shop in the shopping mall looks out over the park and they see Jenny under the bridge. Jenny and her father fight their way through the problems during the course of the year. He manages to find work, consolidate and pay bills. The novel ends on a note of promise. The reader will never look at homelessness quite the same again.