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Blume in Love


I didn’t read Judy Blume when I was growing up but my twin sister sure did. I have a clear memory of her worn paperback covers for Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and Blubber.

Susan Dominus recently profiled Blume for The New York Times Magazine.

I like this passage:

“I’m a storyteller — you know what I mean — an inventor of people,” Blume said. “And their relationships. It’s not that I love the words — that’s not the kind of writer I am. So I’m not” — she made a furious scribbling motion with her right hand — “I’m not a great writer. But maybe I’m a really good storyteller.”

All writers are not created equal.


1 Ara Just Fair   ~  May 28, 2015 12:44 pm

I read all of Judy Blume's books back in the early and mid 80's. I had two older sisters and I read everything they did even though they are 6 and 8 years older. I actually purchased 6 "Blubbber" books to read with third graders a few years ago. I reread it beforehand because it had been over 30 years. My old brain decided it was not suitable for today's 8 and 9 year olds. I was so upset that I even thought that way. It was embarrassing. I did have a rather overweight girl in my class so i did not want to go down that road either. Later that year I read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and one my mothers complained that is was too traumatizing because the little kid in it eats a turtle. Seriously. Too traumatizing. Oi!
Oh, well. Truth be told, I actually read V.C Andrews' "Heaven" in fourth grade. That book is fucked up! Rape, incest, all sorts of madness. WTF! But hey, I was reading! So there! lol... : )

2 Alex Belth   ~  May 28, 2015 2:49 pm

And those Ronald Dahl stories have some black elements to them, for sure. I'm not a parent so it is easy for me to say this but I think kids have a natural bullshit detector and it's good for them to develop that and they can often handle things that adults today might think is too mature for them (they can download porn with the quickness how is Judy Blume going to offend them?).

3 RIYank   ~  May 28, 2015 4:41 pm

I totally agree.
When a book is "too mature" for nine year old kids, they'll be bored by it, and they'll stop reading it. They'll roll their eyes and say "Ew, gross," as nine year olds are pretty good at doing.

Movies are different, or tv shows, or video games. But I don't believe elementary school students are harmed by books.

(I think I'm too old for Judy Blume, so this is not specifically about her books.)

4 Ara Just Fair   ~  May 28, 2015 5:27 pm

[2,3] I agree. I've just dealt with too many parents whose delicate little flowers need to be sheltered from the big, scary world as long as possible. They are all in for a rude awakening.

5 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  May 28, 2015 7:44 pm

[1] I also have two older sisters, so I ran through all the Judy Blume books as a kid too. If I remember correctly they were shockingly cruel to the fat girl in 'Blubber'..

6 Ara Just Fair   ~  May 28, 2015 9:02 pm

[5] The girls in he book were complete assholes to main girl.

7 Mattpat11   ~  May 28, 2015 9:07 pm

Hey all

8 Ara Just Fair   ~  May 28, 2015 9:16 pm

[6] Should be, in the book...
[7] Howdy.

9 Mattpat11   ~  May 28, 2015 9:21 pm


10 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  May 28, 2015 9:22 pm

Judy Blume Game Thread! This could be fun..

McCann with the tater! I could break out John Sterling's 'McCann Can' song..But Then Again, Maybe I Won't..

11 Alex Belth   ~  May 28, 2015 9:29 pm

My bad with the lateness. Game thread now above.

12 Hank Waddles   ~  May 29, 2015 1:13 am

[1] I remember a group of girls in my third grade class convinced our teacher to read Blubber to us. She made the mistake of not previewing the book, and I'll never forget her reaction to the behavior of the girls in the story. As the class was laughing at the story, she stopped in mid read and scolded us all, especially the girls who had pushed the book in the first place. I still think of that whenever I come across that book or any other Judy Blume for that matter.

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