Favorite Author Series: Judy Blume

I have a thousand favorite authors. Asking me “who is your favorite author?” is akin to asking me “which dessert is your favorite?” The answer: All of them.

So…I thought it would be fun (for me haha) to blog about my favorite writers, why they are my favorites, and my fav books by them. How many times can I say favorite?

First up? Judy Blume.

I don’t remember the first book I read by Judy Blume but I suspect it was Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. I was hooked as soon as I opened this book. I have now read every single book she’s published. How excited am I about her new book In the Unlikely Event?!?!? *&*%%&*(^$@#$# That’s how excited.

My favorite book is probably not one of her most famous. Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself enchanted me the first time I picked up it and has every time I read it since I was 9. A little girl in New Jersey right after WWII ends. Judy has said that it is her most biographical work to date and chronicles a little girl’s journey from New Jersey to Florida for the winter season with her family. Sally is obsessed with movie stars and adventure and she’s feisty and awesome (just like all of Judy’s protagonists).

Yet, it’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite. I’m also a huge fan of Just As Long As We’re Together or Here’s to You Rachel Robinson…

See what I mean? Or maybe Summer Sisters is my favorite.

The point here is this: Judy Blume has a new novel coming out in about a month and I can’t wait. Obviously Judy was/is a pioneer of children’s lit. Her books hit the “banned” list more often than almost any other author’s books. Not that they should. Her non-fiction book Letters to Judy is a perfect example of why her books are necessary. She dealt with subject matter that other authors did not. And parents? Flipped out and banned her books. The children who read her books were touched and wrote Judy letters asking questions, thanking her, and asking more questions proving again and again that not only was she changing the face of kid lit but it was necessary work. Judy didn’t believe in protecting children from their own reality. How many of us learned about periods from Are You There God? Not the mechanics necessarily. But the emotions. How is this supposed to feel? That is what she is a master of exploring. Instead of dealing in shame, Judy deals in “how is this supposed to feel?” She nails it every damn time.

I just read a NY Times piece on Judy. She said that grown-ass adults cry when they meet her and get ruffled and can’t think of what to say. You know what she tells them? “It’s okay. You feel this way because I’m your childhood.” Damn straight. *cries over how true that is*

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