Monday, 16 May 2011

Judy Blume

Judy Blume is an American author for the teen market.

Judy Blume was someone who spoke on your adolescent level, and she understood what you couldn't bring yourself to chat to your nearest and dearest about. Even your own mother didn't seem to know what was happening to you. Compared with the daring, empathetic scribblings of Blume, your own mother was a veritable stranger.

And this is why she was both special and popular. Children aren't Disney characters - they're real, making sense of a confusing world. She was the first to realise this; she knew your mind and she spoke to you accordingly. Her books for children and young adults have exceeded sales of 80 million, and been translated into 31 languages.

Blume's novels for teenagers were among the first to tackle matters such as racism (Iggie's House), menstruation (Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.), divorce (It's Not the End of the World, Just As Long As We're Together), bullying (Blubber), masturbation (Deenie; Then Again, Maybe I Won't) and teen sex (Forever), and as such have been the source of controversy over the appropriateness of such topics for the audience they reached.

But before Jacqueline Wilson took over the teen lit crown, she was your friend in need and a lovely pal indeed.

You didn't want to talk to your sister about breasts and sex, did you? And I know I'm not the only one to have Margaret's mantra, 'I must, I must, I must increase my bust' etched in my brain for evermore. Bust? How quaint.

Judy Blume (née Sussman; born February 12, 1938).


Mary said...

I was lucky enough to have a mother who encouraged me to read Blume's books and discuss them afterwards. Unfortunately some of my school friends weren't so lucky and had to read in secret. A real shame.

Suzy Norman said...

I read her books voraciously.