Judy Blume

In January, I read the book Everything I Needed To Know About Being A Girl I Learned From Judy Blume. 24 female authors shared stories about how Judy’s YA novels touched their childhoods. I thought the quick read was a lot of fun. I laughed, I cringed, I relived some of my own awkward moments. The only problem? I hadn’t read most of the Judy Blume books mentioned. Actually, I’ve only read one. Just As Long As We’re Together was one of my favorite books as a kid. So I thought I’d read a few more.

I decided to read Tiger Eyes because it is the first Judy Blume book ever to be made into a movie. Davey, her mom, and brother temporarily move to New Mexico to live with relatives after her dad is shot and killed at the 7-11 they own in Atlantic City. She grieves, makes new friends and learns about herself. It was pretty depressing and I have to admit, I shed a few tears. The movie was adapted, directed and produced by Lawrence Blume (Judy’s son) and should be out later this year. It stars Willa Holland (Kaitlyn Cooper from The O.C.) as Davey and Amy Jo Johnson (Power Rangers, Felicity) as her mom.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is the story of a sixth grade girl who moves from NYC to New Jersey. She has to establish new friends and begins a search for religion. Her dad’s family is Jewish and her mom’s family is Christian. She wasn’t raised with any religious affiliation and doesn’t know what she’s supposed to be. She also really wants boobs.

Deenie is a beautiful 13-year old girl, whose mom is pushing her into modeling. That dream ends when she is diagnosed with scoliosis and has to wear a back brace. She wonders if her friends and the boy she likes will accept her in her brace. While making peace with her condition she befriends another girl with a difference: eczema (gasp!). Do you remember getting scoliosis checks in P.E.? I forgot all about them until I read this book.

Blubber was kind of a horrible book. Jill and her friends start calling a chubby classmate “Blubber” after her oral report on whales. They seriously terrorize this girl, making her kiss boys, lifting up her skirt, attempting to strip her in the bathroom, taking away her books, chanting on the school bus, tripping her, forcing her to say out loud that she is a smelly whale, and shoving chocolate down her throat after they tease her for being on a diet. Bitches! Jill FINALLY realizes that Wendy, the popular girl, is mean and stops being friends with her. The next day she is the new target. It was intense. Girls are mean. Blume wrote this after her daughter described the bullying that was going on in her 5th grade class. I never witnessed anything like that, but have always had a serious soft spot for victims of bullying. It’s just not ok.

Forever tells the story of a high school love. Katherine is a senior in high school and starts a serious relationship with Michael, a boy from another school. They fall in love, spend every weekend together, and start having sex. Her parents are worried that she’s too involved and get her a job at camp for the summer. There she develops feelings for another boy and breaks it off with Michael even though they have planned their entire future together. This book caused quite a stir in the ‘70s because it was the first to deal with birth control, teen sex and pregnancy. It made me reminisce a little about my high school love.

These books are all totally outdated (in Are You There, God?, Margaret gets a “cream rinse” before a party), they end very abruptly (but tied in a nice bow), and they don’t go too in depth with feelings or emotion. In my opinion, the main characters aren’t very likable because they are so self-centered and bratty. But I guess that’s what teen and pre-teen girls are like, right? It was a nice little trip back in time and each book took less than an hour to read. I kinda wished I read them as a kid though. I was too busy borrowing the Flowers In The Attic books from my best friend. Um, what the hell? That series is totally inappropriate!

Did you read any Judy Blume books as a kid? Which one was your favorite?

I’m linking up with Blonde…Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday.


ErinMSW said...

The only one I read was Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret. I recently re-read it and found it hysterical. Back in 5th grade or whenever I read it first, I thought it was brilliant. Have you read any of her adult books? I've only read Summer Sisters, but it was really good.

Oh, and Flowers in the Attic terrified me.

Katie Price said...

"cream rinse" hahaha... I loved Judy Blume as a kid, and I re-read several of her books with my 4th grade students a few years ago. Nothing like reading aloud!

{Popping over from Undercover Blonde}

Christianna said...

I've never read any of Judy Bloom's books, but maybe I should check at least one out. They sound like fun mindless reads.

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

Why have I never even HEARD of her? I would only read Goosebumps as a kid...maybe that's my problem lol!

Krystal said...

My favorite of hers was Just As Long As We're Together! I remember thinking it was sooo scandalous! ;)

Karen Peterson said...

It's funny because I always thought I had read TONS of Judy Blume books as a kid, but I've only read a couple. I probably should go back and experience what I missed.

Heather said...

I honestly don't remember if I read any of hers! That was so long ago...

Sarah E. said...

Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing was my book - I loved it :)