Today is Judy Blume’s 80th birthday! The author interviewed with NPR this morning, speaking about feminism, the #metoo movement, and her own work, so check that out here! But rather than recap an interview any Judy Blume fan should take a peek at, we’re going to definitively rank our favorites of the author’s work!
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Andrew’s determined to get freckles. His friend Nicky has hundreds, but Andrew doesn’t have any. He even pays Sharon for a secret recipe for freckle juice – a recipe that makes him so sick his mother thinks he has appendicitis. When Sharon’s mix doesn’t work, he draws them on with permanent marker and quickly regrets them. I related a ton to Andrew from Freckle Juice. My friends had freckles and I wanted them too. I would sit outside in the sun with honey or lemon juice on my face, not getting any freckles, but I did get a second degree sunburn.
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Summer Sisters tells the story of Caitlin Somers and Victoria “Vix” Leonard, two friends that spend each summer together. Despite being complete opposites, the girls become closer and closer. Blume spins a beautiful story of two girls becoming women and doesn’t shy away from the intricacies and hardships of growing up, including sexual content and lesbian encounters. The book is one of few novels Blume wrote for an adult audience, and it’s a must read.
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Blubber is a story about bullying. Blume shows the very ugly reality of teasing gone too far and how cruel both bullying and not intervening can be. Jill’s friends start bullying an overweight classmate named Linda after she presents an oral report on whales, coining the nickname “Blubber” and pressuring Jill to join in. It’s rough and tears at your emotions, but it’s a story that is all too familiar.
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Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is the first of the Fudge series, and tells the story of nine-year-old Peter Warren Hatcher and his relationship with his two-and-a-half-year-old brother Farley Drexel “Fudge” Hatcher. This was one of my absolute favorite series, much to my older sister’s chagrin. I would always tell her, hey, at least I’m not as bad as Fudge! Not that that helped at all.
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I think we can all agree Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is Blume’s most belovedbook. Margaret’s raised in an interfaith family, and the sixth-grader is in search for a religion she can call her own. The book also touches on other sensitive topics like puberty, finding and buying her first bra, her first period, and beginning to be attracted to boys. The book, originally published in 1970, was one of two books that got me through my own first steps into puberty. The other? The The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book.
Featured Image Via The Independant.