In Judy Blume Forever, Blume's refreshing honesty applies to herself ‹ Literary Center - Storyteller Writer (2023)

Judy Blume was one of the first adults who was really honest with me as a child. This is due to its groundbreaking mid-level romanceAre you there, God? it's me daisy(1970) that I first learned about "the birds and the bees". I hid a friend's copy in my backpack; it sparked my understanding and answered questions that churned within me as a 10-year-old about puberty, menstruation, training bras, flirting, spinning the bottle, and, of course, God.

I grew up in the early 1980s, the son of immigrant Indian doctors, shielded from all this crucial information and still unsure whether to believe the rumors spread around the schoolyard. Blume's credible and true stories were so important to my personal development because they normalized topics that were speculated about by kids everywhere yet considered taboo by many adults, including my parents. His book success has shown that children want and deserve the truth when it comes to understanding themselves and their bodies.

So naturally I wondered ifJudy Blume forever(Prime Video, April 21), a new documentary about the life and legacy of the 85-year-old pioneer of mid-level and young adult literature, would live up to its own commitment to openness. I didn't have to wait long to find out. The film opens with Blume reading an abbreviated excerpt from his young adult novel.Deenie(1973):

"Well," said Mrs. Rappoport, "Does anyone here know the word for stimulating our genitals?" He was very quiet in the gym. Then a girl spoke.
"I think it's called masturbation."
"That's right," Mrs. Rappoport. "And it's not a word you should be afraid of. Let's all say it."
"To look"we said together. I never knew there was a name for what I do. I just thought it was my own special good feeling. Now I wonder if all my friends do?

After reading the passage, Blume, dressed in light blue glasses, looks around at everyone on set and says, "Let's raise our hands if we masturbate, guys." Then she raises her hand, giggles like a schoolgirl, and finally chastises herself with "Oh, Judy," hinting that she knows that heartfelt moments like this are Judy Blume moments.

The film gives us an insight into the stages of Blume's life, starting with his birth into an American Jewish family in suburban New Jersey. Her beloved father wanted adventure for her; her mother was worried and wanted her to be "a good girl". Blume remarks that she could not trust or ask her mother personal questions.

Blume could write about girls like Margaret and Deenie because, in many ways, she had been them.

As an adult, Blume married shortly after graduating from New York University and became a mother of two in suburban New Jersey. But something burned in her. She wanted more than the suburban life – she wanted to write. She admits that her first efforts were "bad imitations of the Dr. Seuss stories" that she tried to illustrate until realizing she wanted to write novels for and about young people.

"When I started writing, I only identified with children, not adults," says Blume of her initial motivation. She attributes her ability to write so convincingly about the inner lives of preteens—their deepest dreams and anxieties—to having "total recall," innately remembering what it was like to be that age. “I was fascinated by the idea of ​​changing the body and breast development and menstruating. I was obsessed with it."

She admits that her obsession led her to lie about having her period and wear a maxi pad to prove it to her friends. Blume could write about girls like Margaret and Deenie because she had been them in many ways, curious about her own body and what lay ahead in terms of adolescence and womanhood.

"Kids will tell me, 'You don't know me, but you wrote this book about me,'" says Blume in the film. And indeed we hear from a number of children, from the 70s and 80s to today, who testify to Blume's deep understanding of their particular worlds and sufferings. A young Blume fan of today observes, "Every kid still deals with it. Kids are still unsure about a lot of things even today."

For my part, I recently visitedAre you there, God? it's me daisy, and it took me back to the time nearly 40 years ago when I secretly read it from my bottom bunk. Despite being over 50 years old, the book is remarkably current, which cannot be said for many books from that era. As a mother of a three year old, I would not hesitate to give this to my daughter when she comes of age.

Judy Blume is having kids. She always had children. and she wroteforeforthey. Perhaps that's why his books have endured, finding a new audience among the children of their original readers. As Jason Reynolds, award-winning YA and middle school author, astutely observes, "I don't think Judy Blume wrote her books to be timeless. I think she wrote her books to be timely. And they were so timely that she became timeless.

"I think children have a right to read, they have a right to know, they have a right to get honest answers to their questions."

Blume takes her role in her readers' lives seriously and responds to their letters as honestly and compassionately as possible, understanding the trust they place in her at this vulnerable time in their lives. "The kids opened up to me in a way that I think they felt they couldn't stand up to their parents," she says inForever.

In Lorrie Kim, a Korean-American who started writing for Blume at age nine, I saw a little bit of myself: her feelings of being an outsider, the lone Asian-American in a sea of ​​white girls. The girl who doesn't know about adolescence. Kim wrote to Blume with direct questions about periods and bras. In the film, she remembers how, when she asked her Korean mother about sanitary napkins, her mother pretended not to hear her. My own mother was an obstetrician-gynecologist who spent her days answering her patients' reproductive questions but didn't share crucial information with me, her daughter.

I think it's fair to say that Blume changed our culture by normalizing discussions of puberty and sex in high school and young adult textbooks. In the film, we hear from cultural icons and writers about his influence. Molly Ringwald, perhaps the most iconic actress of 1980s teen romantic cinema, says, "Everything I learned about sex or thought about sex or crushes, I learned from Judy."girlscreator Lena Dunham notes that Blume's work was instrumental in portraying girls as "complicated", opening the door for Dunham and others to explore the complex inner lives of teenagers and young women in their own work.

However, Blume's honest presentation of the struggles and problems of adolescence also resulted in his books being banned in the 1980s, when conservative forces labeled some of his books - for example,Are you there, God? it's me daisy-as unsuitable for children. She has endured not just insults but death threats. In an interview from the time included in the film, Blume says, "I get really mad. I mean, I get angry. I'm offended. I think kids have a right to read, they have a right to know, they have a right to get honest answers. to your questions."

Forty years later, Blume is horrified that we meet ban, this time focusing on children's books focusing on racial and LGBTQ+ issues. "It's shocking, shocking that this is happening as if time has stopped." Just as she fought book prohibition in the 1980s, she now fights them by speaking out and proudly selling banned books at her independent bookstore in Key West, Florida. When a Florida bill was announced recently,ban girls from discussing periods at school, she expressed her pain and anger through the lens of one of her most beloved characters, Margaret:


What is Judy Blume's writing style? ›

"Her plots are loose and episodic: they accumulate rather than develop," the critic stated. "They are not complicated or demanding." Another way in which Blume achieves such a close affinity with her readers is through her consistent use of first-person narratives.

What was Judy Blume known for? ›

Judy Blume, née Judy Sussman, (born February 12, 1938, Elizabeth, New Jersey, U.S.), American author known for creating juvenile fiction that featured people and situations identifiable to young readers.

What is the theme of forever by Judy Blume? ›

"Forever..." is a young adult romance novel by Judy Blume. The story of "Forever..." is a universal tale of first love, adolescence, and the struggle towards self-discovery. Katherine Danziger is not alone on her journey and has friends and family that consistently help her along the way.

Did Judy Blume write forever? ›

Forever... is a 1975 novel by Judy Blume dealing with teenage sexuality.

What type of books are Judy Blume? ›

Judy Blume Books

As one of the first authors for young adult readers to deal frankly with puberty, sex, and the confusion that surrounds adolescence, Judy Blume has inspired generations of teenagers with her life-changing books. Between Tiger Eyes, Blubber, and Are You There God?

Who is Judy Blume's literary agent? ›

Her agent, Suzanne Gluck (her previous two, Claire Smith and Owen Laster, have both died), has been a Blume fan from her days at summer camp.

What is the main idea of Judy Blume Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing? ›

Lesson Summary

Sibling rivalry is one theme in the book, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, by Judy Blume. Another theme is love of family: family is important and we overlook problems because of that love. Finally, the book also shows us that one way to deal with problems is through a sense of humor.

What age reader is Judy Blume? › Judy Blume - Ages 9 To 12: Books.

What is the theme of always and forever? ›

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han is the perfect conclusion to the To All the Boys I've Loved Before books. This story is all about dealing with change and difficult decisions. Lara Jean is as amazing as always, and the theme of family remains one of the key aspects of the book.

What is the theme of the book always and forever? ›

Romantic Love at Any Age

Readers familiar with the other titles in this series will recognize that romantic love is a theme running throughout the three books. In fact, despite hiccups in their relationship, Lara Jean and Peter are a proper couple throughout the whole novel.

What is the book The Problem with Forever about? ›

A story about friendship, survival, and finding your voice

Growing up, Mallory Dodge learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it's been four years since her nightmare ended, she's beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

What is it's not the end of the world about Judy Blume? ›

It's Me, Margaret, Judy Blume's classic It's Not the End of the World is a sensitive, honest story of family separation. Karen's parents have always argued, and lately they've been getting worse. But when her father announces that they're going to get divorced, it seems as if Karen's whole world will fall apart.

Who wrote the book forever? ›

When was the book forever written? ›

Originally published in 1975, Judy Blume's teen novel Forever tells the tale of Katherine, a New Jersey teen, and her fledgling relationship with Michael and his now infamous member “Ralph”.

What reading level is Judy Blume? ›

Judy Blume Grades 3-5.

In what order should I read Judy Blume books? ›

  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (1972)
  • Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great (1972)
  • Superfudge (1980)
  • Fudge-a-mania (1990)
  • Double Fudge (2002)

Did Judy Blume write a book called Wifey? ›

With more than four million copies sold, Wifey is Judy Blume's hilarious, moving tale of a woman who trades in her conventional wifely duties for her wildest fantasies—and learns a lot about life along the way.

Where can I write to Judy Blume? ›

  • Judy says: Thank you, thank you for all your wonderful notes.
  • Email for Judy can be sent to:
  • For snail mail, write to: Judy Blume. c/o Tashmoo Productions. 1075 Duval Street. Suite C21 #236. ...
  • Judy s Agent: Suzanne Gluck. William Morris Entertainment. 11 Madison Avenue, 18th floor. New York, NY 10010.

Who is Veronica Park literary agent? ›

Veronica Park is a literary agent at the Corvisiero Literary Agency in New York City. She is also a project manager, brand strategy consultant, and writer.

Who is Regina literary agent? ›

Regina Brooks is the founder and president of Serendipity Literary Agency in New York, New York. Her agency is the largest African American owned agency in the country and has represented and established a diverse base of award-winning clients in adult and young adult fiction, nonfiction, and children's literature.

What is the writing advice from Judy Blume? ›

Award-Winning Author Judy Blume Shares 6 Inspiring Tips From 50 Years of Writing (and 85 Million Books Sold)
  • Write the book you want to read. ...
  • Character is paramount. ...
  • The first draft is "pure torture." ...
  • Writing is rewriting. ...
  • Don't let the critics stop you from writing. ...
  • Write because you have to.
Jan 19, 2018

How many Judy Blume books are there? ›

What did Judy Blume study? ›

Judy Blume grew up in New Jersey. She went to school to become a teacher and graduated with a degree in education. Judy Blume's spouse was named George Cooper.

What is the summary of Chapter 2 of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing? ›

Chapter 2 Summary: “Mr.

Peter's father is excited because Mr. and Mrs. Yarby, clients who own the large Juicy-O beverage company, are visiting New York. He invites them to stay in the Hatcher apartment instead of a hotel because “He thought they'd be more comfortable” (8), although Peter's mother disagrees.

What is the plot of Wifey Judy Blume? ›

The story follows the life of bored 1970s New Jersey housewife, Sandy Pressman, who decides to reinvigorate her life by having an extramarital affair with an old high school boyfriend. This decision is complicated when she accidentally discovers evidence her husband might be having a long-term affair.

What is the summary of Chapter 1 of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing? ›

Chapter 1 Summary: “The Big Winner”

Peter Hatcher recounts winning his turtle, Dribble, at the birthday party of his best friend, Jimmy Fargo. He won the prize when he came closest to guessing the number of jelly beans contained in a jar; Mrs. Fargo declared that “Peter Warren Hatcher is the big winner!” (3).

What age are me readers for? ›

The Me Reader system is recommended for children ages 3 years and older. The device is simple to work. To begin, children select one of the eight storybook buttons on the Me Reader, which is made of sturdy hard plastic.

What age group is bad kitty books for? ›

Product information
Publisher‎Square Fish; BOX PAP/PS edition (October 16, 2012)
Reading age5 - 8 years, from customers
Grade level‎2 - 3
Item Weight‎1.2 pounds
Dimensions‎5.5 x 1.29 x 8.5 inches
8 more rows

What age is out of my mind book for? ›

10 - 14 Years

What is the summary of the book always and forever? ›

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad's finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot's coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding. But change is looming on the horizon.

What is the conflict in always and forever? ›

The conflict is when she got rejected into UVA and how she had to change all of her plans and has to find out how she is going to find a way to still see her family.

What is the story of forever and ever? ›

In this sequel to "One And Only" Shi Yi, a quiet but accomplished voice actress, encounters a shy chemistry researcher with a familiar name. A sudden engagement leads to their romance being continually buffeted by outside forces.

What are the themes of the truth about forever? ›

The theme of the book was, like, friendship and letting yourself be heard, I think... I beleive that the theme was letting go of your past, opening up to others, and trusting yourself, and others. Macy Queen was very closed, she sheltered herself, after her father died.

What is the theme of every story? ›

The term theme can be defined as the underlying meaning of a story. It is the message the writer is trying to convey through the story. Often the theme of a story is a broad message about life. The theme of a story is important because a story's theme is part of the reason why the author wrote the story.

Is there a theme in every story? ›

All stories have at least one theme. A theme gives the general view of the story. It gives the reader the insight into how the story characters live to pursue something good, the results of conflicts and how all these choices come to pass in their lives. In a story, there can be major and minor themes.

What is the short summary of the truth about forever? ›

The Truth About Forever follows Macy West after her father dies and her boyfriend leaves from Brain Camp for the summer. To maintain her perfect appearance, Macy takes over her boyfriend's job at the library despite his rude coworkers and spends her night studying for the SATs to please her mother.

Does the book The problem with forever have a happy ending? ›

This is the wake-up call Rider needs to realize Mallory loves him, and he needs to stop pushing love away. They reconcile, and it's an open-ended but happy conclusion.

What is a quote Judy Blume said? ›

Our finger prints don't fade from the lives we touch.” “My only advice is to stay aware, listen carefully, and yell for help if you need it.” “Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them.

What is the theme of Where the World Ends? ›

The novel's main theme is how we create stories when we need to believe something. Quill doesn't believe the world has ended, but he imagines the voice of pretty Murdina Galloway when he needs to believe his own advice. Where the World Ends is an interesting historical narrative.

What style of writing is Freak the Mighty? ›

Freak the Mighty is considered to be realistic fiction, since the events are imaginary but could potentially have happened. The novel is also considered to be young adult fiction, as it was written with a young adolescent age group in mind.

What sort of books does Judy Nunn write? ›

Judy Nunn is a popular Australian author, who likes to write literature & fiction, historical fiction, and romance novels.

What age group does Judy Blume write for? › Judy Blume - Ages 9 To 12: Books.

What is the writing style of Isaac Asimov? ›

Asimov used a simple writing style.

Asimov preferred a completely unembellished style of writing. His characters were so simple and the dialogue so functional that it approached the telegraphic minimum of language. There is little literary criticism on Asimov despite his widespread popularity and influence as a writer.

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