Saturday, September 6, 2008
I grew up reading Judy Blume's books, especially those written with girls in mind. I started with Are You There God? Its Me, Margaret, and I worked my way through them up to Forever . . ., which was titillating and much talked about, mostly because the teenage protagonist had sex. I didn't read her novels for adults, and I didn't read the Fudge books until I had kids of my own to read them to. But now I love Fudge, too.
But Judy Blume had a profound effect on me as a tween girl, because her books talked frankly about all the things we girls thought about, but were sometimes too embarrassed or afraid to talk about openly. Of course, this is probably why her books were sometimes banned--how crazy is that?
When I was in the fifth grade, my soon-to-be sixth grade teacher (an amazing teacher, I still remember how great sixth grade was) handed me a copy of a book by Judy Blume called Deenie. It was about a girl with scoliosis who has to wear a brace on her back. I, too, had scoliosis and had just gotten my back brace, so it was amazing for me to receive a book written about my very situation--especially since I knew exactly zero people who wore back braces at that point, and had no idea what I was in for.
So when I opened my email the other day, I was excited to see this flyer telling me that Jill Soloway, a hilarious writer and comedienne, is participating in this tribute to Judy Blume (full disclosure--I know Jill and she's fabulous). Looks like it's a night of "readings, performances and reflections" about Judy Blume's books. What a great idea, wish I'd thought of it myself. Anyone in the L.A. area--should be a great event.
Judy Blume has a great website, by the way. It has resources for kids who are doing reports, her thoughts about censorship, her advice about writing, and a blog. Definitely worth visiting!