Sunday, November 05, 2006

Judy Blume

Thank goodness for Judy Blume. What would little girls have done growing up without her? Especially, little girls who had trouble talking to their mothers about "certain" issues. I'm still waiting for my mother to talk to me about some of those things.

I'm grateful that Blume wrote in the way that she did, exploring the inherent struggles we all face when crossing over from childhood into the beyond. It's a tough time in life and I grasped at any bit of help that I could get. It takes a community to raise a child indeed.

Are You There God, It's Me Margaret was the first Blume offering that came my way. Many of my friends had already read it by the time I was in fourth grade. A lucky few had it read to them by their mothers. Even third graders had been acquainted with it. The direness of that last fact, prompted me into action, I rushed myself to the library and picked up a copy of Margaret. The novel opened up a whole new world for me, enlightening me to the complexities of adolescence. I discovered what a period was after reading Margaret. I also discovered that boobs meant a great deal to some girls...but of course.

My fourth grade copy of Margaret from the early 80s displayed
this cover. The book has had a multitude of covers over the years.

Who can ever forget the line: "I must, I must, I must increase my bust." I actually remember girls taking to this and creating their own related rituals. In the fifth grade, two classmates would ask each other daily (quite loudly, I might add--so that the boys and other "lesser" girls could hear), if they were "growing" or not. It was their way of telling everyone that they were ready to grow up and into other things. I couldn't understand why they publicly announced their boob-growing trials because they never did grow any (whereas other mortals had already developed but simply hid the fact). Those two didn't mature into good human beings either but I digress...

I was soon addicted to the works of Judy Blume and over the next few years, I grabbed as many of her novels as I possibly could from the school library. I wanted to learn and explore all that I could. If information wasn't readily available, I had to go out and find it. The titles say it all: "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing", "Then Again Maybe I Won't", "Superfudge", "Blubber", "Deenie", "Freckle Juice", "Iggy's House", "It's Not the End of the World" etc.

Judy Blume became like a distant friend, freely offering advice. I for one was delighted that she was a part of my community.


  1. I read "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" when I was in grade four so it meant a lot.

    Judy Blume Rules!

    Thanks for yet another fantastic post.

  2. Thank you DP! For some reason, books I read during the fourth and fifth grades have stuck with me all these years.

  3. Oh haven't thought of Judy Blume in a long time... I remember reading "Smart Women" (which is an adult selection)
    She's great!! Man I need to find that book... hehe.

  4. Thanks Aunt Jackie! I just checked out the link for Smart Women, it sounds great. I want to get that one too!


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