Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume

Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416546115
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: 06/05/2007
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 740,183
File size: 547 KB

About the Author

Contributors include: Jennifer OConnell, Meg Cabot, Beth Kendric, Julie Kenner, Cara Lockwood, Stacey Ballis, Megan Crane, Laura Caldwell, Melissa Senate, Stephanie Lessing, Kayla Perrin, Kyra Davis, Diana Peterfreund, Jennifer Coburn, Alison Pace, Elise Juska, Sarah Mlynowski, Lynda Curnyn, Berta Platas, Shanna Swendson, Laura Ruby, and Megan McCafferty.
Jennifer O'Connell received her BA from Smith College and her MBA from the University of Chicago. She is the author of Insider Dating, Bachelorette #1, Dress Rehearsal, Off the Record, and Plan B. Visit her website at www.jenniferoconnell.com.
Meg Cabot is the author of the #1 New York Times best-sellers All-American Girl and The Princess Diaries series, two of which have been made into major motion pictures by Disney. Meg is also the author of The Mediator series, the Airhead series, and many books for adults. She currently divides her time between Key West and New York City with her husband and one-eyed cat, Henrietta.
Beth Kendrick won the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Award for My Favorite Mistake. She has a Ph.D. in psychology and an unshakable devotion to the Chicago Cubs. After surviving too many Minnesota winters, she moved to Arizona, where she is working on her second novel (coming soon from Downtown Press). For more information you can visit the author's website at www.bethkendrick.com.
Julie Kenner's books have hit bestseller lists as varied as USA Today, Waldenbooks, Barnes & Noble, and Locus Magazine; have won numerous awards and have been lauded in industry publications such as Publisher's Weekly and Booksense.  Julie writes a broad range of fiction, including sexy and quirky romances, young adult novels, chick lit suspense thrillers and paranormal mommy lit.  Visit her online at http://www.juliekenner.com
Cara Lockwood is also the author of I Do (But I Don't), which was made into a Lifetime movie, as well as Pink Slip Party and Dixieland Sushi, and Every Demon Has His Day, all available from Downtown Press. She was born in Dallas, Texas, and earned a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked as a journalist in Austin, and is now married and living in Chicago. Her husband is not a rock star, but he does play the guitar -- poorly.
Laura Caldwell, a former trial lawyer, is currently a professor and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She is the author of eleven novels and one non-fiction book. She is a nation-wide speaker and the founder of Life After Innocence, which helps innocent people begin their lives again after being wrongfully imprisoned. Laura has been published in thirteen languages and over twenty countries. To learn more, please visit www.lauracaldwell.com.
Melissa Senate is the author of eight novels, including the bestselling See Jane Date, which was made into an ABC Family TV movie and has sold over 200,000 copies worldwide.  She's published short pieces in Everything I've Always Wanted to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume, It's a Wonderful Lie, Flirting with Pride and Prejudice, and American Girls About Town.  A former romance and young adult editor from New York, she now lives on the southern coast of Maine with her son.
Kayla Perrin has been writing since the age of thirteen. She is a USA TODAY and Essence bestselling author of dozens of mainstream and romance novels and has been recognized for her talent, including twice winning Romance Writers of America’s Top Ten Favorite Books of the Year Award. She has also won the Career Achievement Award for multicultural romance from RT Book Reviews. Kayla lives with her daughter in Ontario, Canada. Visit her at www.KaylaPerrin.com.
Kyra Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of Just One Night, “Just Once More”, Just One Lie, the Pure Sin series, the Sophie Katz mystery series, and the novel So Much for My Happy Ending. Now a full-time author and television writer, Kyra lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, son, their leopard gecko, and their lovably quirky Labrador, Sophie Dogz. To learn more, visit KyraDavis.com or follow her on Twitter @_KyraDavis and Facebook.com/AuthorKyraDavis.
Elise Juska's short stories have appeared in many magazines, including The Hudson Review, Harvard Review, Salmagundi, Black Warrior Review, Calyx, and The Seattle Review. She teaches fiction writing at The New School in New York City and The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Her first novel, Getting Over Jack Wagner, is available from Downtown Press.
Visit the author's website: www.elisejuska.com.

Reading Group Guide


Reading Group Guide

Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume

Edited by Jennifer O'Connell

Survey Says...

Like the young girls and grown women characters in Judy Blume's novels, real women love gossiping about their lives. So here's the skinny on some of your favorite writers from this collection, in their own words!

1. What was your first kiss like?

2. Name three of your oddest jobs.

3. What is your favorite color and why?

4. How many BFFs have you had?

5. What does your kinkiest pair of underwear look like?

6. Name your three biggest fears.

7. Briefly describe a happy memory involving the opposite sex.

8. What was your favorite prank call (that you made or that someone made to you)?

9. Was your teen bedroom a disaster area or clean and pristine? What's your room like now?

10. Have you ever gone skinny dipping?

11. How has your relationship with your mother changed from girlhood, to adolescence, to adulthood?

12. Which sibling got the most attention in your house?

13. Briefly describe the best date you've ever had.

14. Briefly describe the worst date you've ever had.

15. Name your three favorite movies.

16. When you first noticed boys, how long did you think it would be before you got married?

17. What's your funniest bra/breast story?

18. What is the most humiliating thing that happened to you as a child?

19. Were you the bully, or did you get picked on as a child?

20. Who's more neurotic about her children -- you, or your mother?

21. Did you ever get caught masturbating?

22. Did you believe in God when you were a teenager? Why or why not?

23. What are your three favorite things to do with your girlfriends?

24. Where is the most unusual place you've had sex?

Discussion Points

Use the following opportunities to discuss some of Judy Blume's most popular themes with the members of your Book Club.

1. In essays like "Then. Now. Forever." by Megan McCafferty, "The M Word" by Lara Zeises, and "Do Adults Really Do That?" by Laura Caldwell, the authors remember learning about and discussing sex for the first time. Sometimes it's traumatic, sometimes it's funny, but however it happens, it's always memorable. Share the story of how your parents first brought up the "birds & bees," or the time that your class was separated into groups of boys and girls to watch informational films on this biological imperative.

2. Many of the essays in this book, including "Forever...Again" by Stacey Ballis, cite the deep impact that Judy Blume's most banned and celebrated book, Forever, had on their early ideas about love and sex. What was your first experience with love like? Why do you think that attitudes about teen sex have or haven't changed since Forever was first published?

3. Young girls universally struggle through puberty, which often leaves in its wake identity crises and a scramble to label and be labeled as girls seek to order their chaotic, changing worlds. "Boys Like Shiny Things" by Laura Ruby, "Cry, Linda, Cry" by Meg Cabot, and "Freaks, Geeks, and Adolescent Revenge Fantasies" by Shanna Swendson describe the authors' own stories of battered and, ultimately, triumphant self-esteem. What labels were you given as a child? How did these affect your sense of identity and the way you related to others? What, if anything, did you do to shed or strengthen these identities?

4. Sometimes it seems like the female half of the species are burdened with a rebellious and uncooperative body from the moment we become self-aware until...well, it never ends! After reading "The One That Got Away" by Stephanie Lessing, "I Am" by Erica Orloff, "Vitamin K, Judy Blume, and the Great Big Bruise" by Julie Kenner, "The Importance of ABCs" by Kayla Perrin, and "Are You There, Margaret?" by Alison Pace, what body image issues from your past came back to haunt you? What physical attributes do you still battle for control?

5. Women's magazines and evening news channels have made much ado about "friend dates" and other ways that friendships follow patterns similar to romantic relationships. Authors Megan Crane and Lynda Curnyn explore these similarities -- particularly the equally dramatic breakups -- in their essays "A Long Time Ago, We Used to Be Friends" and "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do -- Especially with Your BFF." Have you ever had to break up with a friend? If so, why, and at happened? If not, why do you think your relationships with women have remained unscathed?

6. Moving and making new friends can be a child's worst nightmare -- Tony Miglione of Judy Blume's Then Again, Maybe I Won't certainly thought so. So did Berta Platas ("The Wienie Girls' Guide to Making Friends") and Melissa Senate ("Then Again, Maybe I..."). What was it like for you making friends as a child? How has your approach to adjusting to new environments and making new friends changed as an adult?

7. "Are You Available God? My Family Needs Counseling" by Kyra Davis and "It Wasn't the End of the World" by Kristin Harmel touchingly revisit the difficulties inherent in what were once considered "unusual" family circumstances, such as divorced parents and religious intermarriage. Davis writes, "Let's face it, all our families are at least a little dysfunctional." Do you think this is true? If so, in what ways do you think your own family was dysfunctional? What Judy Blume books did help or might have helped you to make sense of the tension broiling around you?

8. In her essay "Superfudged," Cara Lockwood compares her tortured childhood relationship with her younger brother to that of Judy Blume's Peter Hatcher and his brother, Fudge. Do you have any siblings? If so, how has your relationship to each other changed since you were children? If not, how do you think being an only child affected how you related to others in your early years?

9. Children often feel that the world of adults is mysterious and incomprehensible, sometimes because their parents purposefully make it that way! "A Different Kind of Diary" by Elise Juska, "Mother of All Balancing Acts" by Beth Kendrick, and "Brave New Kid" by Diana Peterfreund all share insights about the complexities of child-adult relations. Did you find it difficult to navigate the transformation from child to young adult to adult with respect to your parents' treatment of you? What similarities did you find between these women's stories and your own relationships with your parents? How are your stories different?

10. Jennifer Coburn revisits one of Judy Blume's more serious social topics -- racism -- in her essay "Guilty's House." Can you relate to the described feelings of "white guilt?" Why or why not? If you are a member of an ethnic minority, what was your response to reading this blunt portrayal of one girl's struggle with political correctness?

11. In her essay, "We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Programming for a Judy Blume Moment," Jennifer O'Connell defines certain poignant moments she believes we all experience as "Judy Blume Moments." Some of these moments include those that "make a girl feel like a princess in a blue cotton nightgown" and "realizing that even as we get older...we'll always be the girls who play in the waves and giggle with our friends." Describe some of your own Judy Blume moments.

What did you learn about being a girl from Judy Blume?

Have each member of your Book Club bring a highlighted passage from her favorite Judy Blume book to read out loud to the group. Then, take turns answering the following questions:

1. Why was this book your favorite Judy Blume book?

2. When you re-read the book, what were your reactions? Did you find that the story, the characters, and the feelings it evoked were the same as what you remembered?

3. Which Judy Blume characters did you most identify with in childhood?

4. Which characters do you most identify with now?

5. Do you think Judy Blume's characters and the issues they face are timeless, or would they seem dated today?

6. Why do you think Judy Blume's books had such an impact on their young readers when they were first published?

7. Of the essays in Everything, which one did you most identify with and why?

Enhance Your Book Club Experience

For extra fun, make photocopies of the author survey questions to pass around to members of your Book Club, or forward it around via email. You can respond anonymously, or share your answers openly.

When you get together to discuss Everything, have each member bring a snack -- specifically, her favorite junk food from the age she became a Judy Blume fan!

Judy Blume tackles many universally challenging topics in her books, including the sometimes strained relationships between mothers and daughters. Designate a Book Club meeting to which everyone is invited to bring either her mother or her daughter. Before the meeting, each member should share her favorite Judy Blume book with her guest. When you're all gathered together, go around the room and share which parts of the book reminded you of each other, helped you to better understand each other's point of view, or generally made you feel closer.

Several of Judy Blume's books have been scrutinized, challenged, attacked, and otherwise fought by censors, including Blubber; Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret; Forever; Deenie; and Tiger Eyes. Visit the link below to view a list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000 and also the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2005. How many of these books have you or your children read? How do you feel about the efforts to restrict access to these books?

ala.org/ala/oif/bannedbooksweek/challengedbanned

Introduction

Reading Group Guide

Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume

Edited by Jennifer O'Connell

Survey Says...

Like the young girls and grown women characters in Judy Blume's novels, real women love gossiping about their lives. So here's the skinny on some of your favorite writers from this collection, in their own words!

1. What was your first kiss like?

2. Name three of your oddest jobs.

3. What is your favorite color and why?

4. How many BFFs have you had?

5. What does your kinkiest pair of underwear look like?

6. Name your three biggest fears.

7. Briefly describe a happy memory involving the opposite sex.

8. What was your favorite prank call (that you made or that someone made to you)?

9. Was your teen bedroom a disaster area or clean and pristine? What's your room like now?

10. Have you ever gone skinny dipping?

11. How has your relationship with your mother changed from girlhood, to adolescence, to adulthood?

12. Which sibling got the most attention in your house?

13. Briefly describe the best date you've ever had.

14. Briefly describe the worst date you've ever had.

15. Name your three favorite movies.

16. When you first noticed boys, how long did you think it would be before you got married?

17. What's your funniest bra/breast story?

18. What is the most humiliating thing that happened to you as a child?

19. Were you the bully, or did you get picked on as a child?

20. Who's more neurotic about her children — you, or your mother?

21. Did you ever get caught masturbating?

22. Did you believe in God when you were a teenager? Why or why not?

23. What are your three favorite thingsto do with your girlfriends?

24. Where is the most unusual place you've had sex?

Discussion Points

Use the following opportunities to discuss some of Judy Blume's most popular themes with the members of your Book Club.

1. In essays like "Then. Now. Forever." by Megan McCafferty, "The M Word" by Lara Zeises, and "Do Adults Really Do That?" by Laura Caldwell, the authors remember learning about and discussing sex for the first time. Sometimes it's traumatic, sometimes it's funny, but however it happens, it's always memorable. Share the story of how your parents first brought up the "birds & bees," or the time that your class was separated into groups of boys and girls to watch informational films on this biological imperative.

2. Many of the essays in this book, including "Forever...Again" by Stacey Ballis, cite the deep impact that Judy Blume's most banned and celebrated book, Forever, had on their early ideas about love and sex. What was your first experience with love like? Why do you think that attitudes about teen sex have or haven't changed since Forever was first published?

3. Young girls universally struggle through puberty, which often leaves in its wake identity crises and a scramble to label and be labeled as girls seek to order their chaotic, changing worlds. "Boys Like Shiny Things" by Laura Ruby, "Cry, Linda, Cry" by Meg Cabot, and "Freaks, Geeks, and Adolescent Revenge Fantasies" by Shanna Swendson describe the authors' own stories of battered and, ultimately, triumphant self-esteem. What labels were you given as a child? How did these affect your sense of identity and the way you related to others? What, if anything, did you do to shed or strengthen these identities?

4. Sometimes it seems like the female half of the species are burdened with a rebellious and uncooperative body from the moment we become self-aware until...well, it never ends! After reading "The One That Got Away" by Stephanie Lessing, "I Am" by Erica Orloff, "Vitamin K, Judy Blume, and the Great Big Bruise" by Julie Kenner, "The Importance of ABCs" by Kayla Perrin, and "Are You There, Margaret?" by Alison Pace, what body image issues from your past came back to haunt you? What physical attributes do you still battle for control?

5. Women's magazines and evening news channels have made much ado about "friend dates" and other ways that friendships follow patterns similar to romantic relationships. Authors Megan Crane and Lynda Curnyn explore these similarities — particularly the equally dramatic breakups — in their essays "A Long Time Ago, We Used to Be Friends" and "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do — Especially with Your BFF." Have you ever had to break up with a friend? If so, why, and at happened? If not, why do you think your relationships with women have remained unscathed?

6. Moving and making new friends can be a child's worst nightmare — Tony Miglione of Judy Blume's Then Again, Maybe I Won't certainly thought so. So did Berta Platas ("The Wienie Girls' Guide to Making Friends") and Melissa Senate ("Then Again, Maybe I..."). What was it like for you making friends as a child? How has your approach to adjusting to new environments and making new friends changed as an adult?

7. "Are You Available God? My Family Needs Counseling" by Kyra Davis and "It Wasn't the End of the World" by Kristin Harmel touchingly revisit the difficulties inherent in what were once considered "unusual" family circumstances, such as divorced parents and religious intermarriage. Davis writes, "Let's face it, all our families are at least a little dysfunctional." Do you think this is true? If so, in what ways do you think your own family was dysfunctional? What Judy Blume books did help or might have helped you to make sense of the tension broiling around you?

8. In her essay "Superfudged," Cara Lockwood compares her tortured childhood relationship with her younger brother to that of Judy Blume's Peter Hatcher and his brother, Fudge. Do you have any siblings? If so, how has your relationship to each other changed since you were children? If not, how do you think being an only child affected how you related to others in your early years?

9. Children often feel that the world of adults is mysterious and incomprehensible, sometimes because their parents purposefully make it that way! "A Different Kind of Diary" by Elise Juska, "Mother of All Balancing Acts" by Beth Kendrick, and "Brave New Kid" by Diana Peterfreund all share insights about the complexities of child-adult relations. Did you find it difficult to navigate the transformation from child to young adult to adult with respect to your parents' treatment of you? What similarities did you find between these women's stories and your own relationships with your parents? How are your stories different?

10. Jennifer Coburn revisits one of Judy Blume's more serious social topics — racism — in her essay "Guilty's House." Can you relate to the described feelings of "white guilt?" Why or why not? If you are a member of an ethnic minority, what was your response to reading this blunt portrayal of one girl's struggle with political correctness?

11. In her essay, "We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Programming for a Judy Blume Moment," Jennifer O'Connell defines certain poignant moments she believes we all experience as "Judy Blume Moments." Some of these moments include those that "make a girl feel like a princess in a blue cotton nightgown" and "realizing that even as we get older...we'll always be the girls who play in the waves and giggle with our friends." Describe some of your own Judy Blume moments.

What did you learn about being a girl from Judy Blume?

Have each member of your Book Club bring a highlighted passage from her favorite Judy Blume book to read out loud to the group. Then, take turns answering the following questions:

1. Why was this book your favorite Judy Blume book?

2. When you re-read the book, what were your reactions? Did you find that the story, the characters, and the feelings it evoked were the same as what you remembered?

3. Which Judy Blume characters did you most identify with in childhood?

4. Which characters do you most identify with now?

5. Do you think Judy Blume's characters and the issues they face are timeless, or would they seem dated today?

6. Why do you think Judy Blume's books had such an impact on their young readers when they were first published?

7. Of the essays in Everything, which one did you most identify with and why?

Enhance Your Book Club Experience

For extra fun, make photocopies of the author survey questions to pass around to members of your Book Club, or forward it around via email. You can respond anonymously, or share your answers openly.

When you get together to discuss Everything, have each member bring a snack — specifically, her favorite junk food from the age she became a Judy Blume fan!

Judy Blume tackles many universally challenging topics in her books, including the sometimes strained relationships between mothers and daughters. Designate a Book Club meeting to which everyone is invited to bring either her mother or her daughter. Before the meeting, each member should share her favorite Judy Blume book with her guest. When you're all gathered together, go around the room and share which parts of the book reminded you of each other, helped you to better understand each other's point of view, or generally made you feel closer.

Several of Judy Blume's books have been scrutinized, challenged, attacked, and otherwise fought by censors, including Blubber; Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret; Forever; Deenie; and Tiger Eyes. Visit the link below to view a list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000 and also the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2005. How many of these books have you or your children read? How do you feel about the efforts to restrict access to these books?

www.ala.org/ala/oif/bannedbooksweek/challengedbanned

Customer Reviews

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Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
brandyjoy More than 1 year ago
This book put together all my thoughts on the many characters in Judy Blume's books that I read in my youth and reread as an adult. Whether it be Margaret's learning what it is like to "become a woman", Deenie learning to deal with adversity, Ralph, or Sally J Friedman's theatrical ways, I can still go back to the first reads that took place over 30 years ago. Judy Blume helped most girls truly learn what they needed to know.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Judy Blume is one of the most beloved and well-known authors of our time. She has written countless stories for pre-teens, teens, and adults alike, and millions of readers have been charmed by her lovable characters and easy-to-relate-to storylines.

In EVERYTHING I NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT BEING A GIRL I LEARNED FROM JUDY BLUME, twenty-four of the most popular female authors today, including Megan McCafferty, Jennifer O'Connell, Megan Crane, Cara Lockwood, and Meg Cabot, contribute essays relating their own experiences with Judy Blume.

Covering everything from their own "Judy Blume moments" to hiding under the covers with FOREVER..., these stories are intensely personal recollections that offer an insight into the influence that Judy Blume's works have had on everyone who reads them.

As a Judy Blume fan myself, I really loved reading this book, and it brought to mind my own memories of reading her novels. Whether you just want to know more about some of your favorite authors today, or, like me, you grew up with Blume and her characters, this book is well worth reading and you definitely don't want to miss it.
susanbevans on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Jennifer O'Connell edits Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned From Judy Blume, a book of captivating essays on the impact of iconic coming-of-age girl-lit author Judy Blume, written by contemporary female authors. Judy Blume is one of the best known and most beloved authors of our time. Not only has she written countless books for children/pre-teens/teens, but she also has penned some wonderful adult novels as well. Her characters are lovable, and her story lines incredibly easy to relate to. Over the last forty years, millions of readers of all ages have been charmed by books like Deenie, Blubber, and Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret."This collection of 24 intriguing essays highlight the kind of "Judy Blume moments" we all had growing up as girls in America. The intensely personal essays offer the reader an insight into the immeasurable influence that Judy Blume has had on the American girl.As an enormous Judy Blume fan (I even named a cat Judy Blume 19 years ago,) I really enjoyed this collection. It was a true nostalgic treat, taking me back to those fun (and sometimes painful) days of young adulthood. In reading the essays of some of my favorite authors, I was alternately laughing-out-loud and cringing at some of the recollections. It was so much fun to read, that I feel the need to revisit my Judy Blume favorites in the near future.
saracuse9 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I enjoyed this book of essays different female writers compiled about their experiences reading different Judy Blume books growing up. However, most of the essays revolved around books I hadn't read such as Deenie, Then Again, Maybe I Won't and Starring Sally J. Freedman as herself. Of course, I went looking for them right after I finished the book.The book made me want to write my own essay but it would be about the book Summer Sisters, one of Ms. Blume's adult books.The book also brought back a small but vivid memory: when I was in elementary school, my mother gave me money for the school book fair and told me to pick out Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret. I asked the librarian for it and she wouldn't let me buy it. Go figure. My mother went back and bought it for me. I still have that copy on my shelf.
Deesirings on LibraryThing 7 months ago
This is a nice assemblage of reminiscences. It's neat to see how different readers related to different aspects of Judy Blume's works for entirely different reasons. I especially liked how Beth Kendrick discussed re-reading Blume's teen books as an adult and focussed in on the mom characters. Again, Judy Blume meant something different, to the same reader, but at a different time. For myself, I remember reading all the Judy Blume books and somehow enjoying them but I'm now left wondering why I did enjoy them. I was the antithesis of Margaret, suffering through early puberty and begging my mother not to make me wear a bra (I was 8, at the time). I certainly couldn't relate to Karen from It's Not the End of the World, who experiences her family's split as her parents divorce. Mine had been separated since before I could remember. Nor could I relate to Peter and how he felt having a little brother (Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing & Superfudge) since I was not only being raised by a single parent, but I was an only child to boot. And so on. Yet, despite not finding a kindred spirit from among Blume's characters, her books compelled me and I read them all voraciously. As I did these essays.
katydid-it on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Oh how this book brought back memories! I had to check out Judy Blume books from the library and sneak them home to read because my mother didn't approve of them. The appreciative essays from the female writers in this work show the range of impact that Blume had on anyone growing up in the 1980s.
whitreidtan on LibraryThing 7 months ago
If you were a girl growing up in the 1980's, chances are you read Judy Blume's books. And if you read Judy Blume's books, chances are even better that you still remember one or more of them better than many books that you have read subsequently. Who doesn't remember Are You There God, It's Me Margaret? And of course, everyone passed Forever around to read the juicy bits. I personally identified with Iggie's House although I was always the kid moving, not the one left behind to befriend the new family in the house. I still have my original Judy Blume books and have passed them along to my older children (and it's about time to pass the less girlish ones along to the small boy as well). And really, the way that these books captured a generation is unique and the very thing that this collection edited by Jennifer O'Connell celebrates.This is a collection of essays written by current YA and chick lit writers is nostalgic and familiar. Their essays on the work or works that meant the most to them as they developed as girls and young women could have been written by your best girlfriends. As Blume's books are pretty universal, so are the essays in this book. The authors have chosen a wide range of the Blume canon about which to write. The ways in which these stories have impacted their lives, the extent to which they remember the stories, and the breadth of the debt some of their own writing owes to the stories varies but it's likely that you'll find yourself nodding your head in agreement with most, if not all, of them. It is amazing how this shared cultural experience still forms us so many years later. This is very much a love letter and a thank you note to Ms. Blume and I admit that I read it with a huge smile on my face. I might be an adult now, but just reading about others' Blume experiences as preteens and teens had the power to take me back to that more innocent time in my life. And we can all use a little more innocence these days.
adge73 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
A collection like this is invariably going to have some better and weaker pieces, but, overall, this was an enjoyable read for Judy Blume fans and women in general.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
What a trip down memory lane. As I read these short stories, it took me back to my teen years and what I recalled about Judy Blume’s novels. I remembered sneaking to read her paperback novels, as my mother thought Judy was inappropriate and too mature for my innocent, sinless eyes. It was on my way to-and-from school and under my covers at night with a flashlight that I read them all. Judy’s characters knew things that I craved to know, things my girlfriends were talking about and issues that I thought I needed to know about. I wanted this view of the world that she presented in her novels, this view that I saw only in her books. There were some novels that I thought Judy had written about me, the characters could have had my name stamped on them and other novels that I wanted to be a part. How could my mother dislike this woman, a woman who wrote such stories that I found inspiring and promising? As I read this novel, these women had all felt exactly how I had felt years ago, they each had claimed at least one of Judy Blume’s novels as their own. They saw themselves in it or they wanted to be a part of it, I felt a connection with these women writers, we could be sisters. Whether it was Deenie or As Long As We’re Together, or any of the other novels she wrote for teens, they adored one of Judy’s novels as much as I did. I enjoyed reading their stories and how they connected with the novels. These books supported these writers, they found something within its pages and drew from it. It was a delight to find others who loved Judy as much as I did and to reminisce about these novels that meant a great deal to me as a teen. In my twenties, I came across Wifey at the Walmart store, as I began reading again and I smiled as I saw Judy’s name splashed across the top. I remember the excitement that overcame me and I thought, “she writes adult books?” Thinking to myself that I wouldn’t have to hide this copy from my mother, I bought it and I devoured it. It was Judy, and I thought of it as my nasty book for a while. Oh, if mother only knew. Thanks to Murder By Death, a fellow blogger for bringing this novel to my attention.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Terrible!!!!!!! Worst book ive ever read!!!!
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GG19 More than 1 year ago
Good book. A lot of reminders about how Judy Blume helped a generatation (mine) get thru a myriad of life issues, questions, etc. I enjoyed the nostalgia, as well as the different perspectives and stories that each author relayed. This makes me want to go back and re-visit some of my favorite titles growing up. I will recommend this read to my friends.
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Savannah Lively More than 1 year ago
a very inspiring book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago