Today is the 81st birthday of the iconic Judy Blume, author of five decades worth of childhood favorites. You know Blume from her most celebrated children’s and young adult novels: Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret.; Superfudge; Forever…; Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing; and Summer Sisters. What you may not know is that she’s one of the most banned authors of the 21st century. Blume’s work may be fun and nostalgic—but it’s also groundbreaking enough to have shaped generations.
Image Via Read Brightly
These days, YA novels explore all manner of dark and often controversial subject matter, not shying away from topics of mental health, addiction, sexuality, and grief. Readers might forget that bookshelves didn’t always look like this. Blume has always explored experiences that are paradoxically universal and yet still taboo: menstruation, masturbation, sex, and death. In the 70s and 80s, other authors weren’t yet willing to write about such topics… but teens were ready to hear their stories told. Blume’s work remains relevant today because coming-of-age is—and always will be—just as timeless.
To celebrate her enduring legacy, let’s take a look at fifteen of her most inspiring quotes on life.
1. “If being in love means giving up your freedom, not to mention your opportunities, then I haven’t missed anything.”
2. “I can’t let safety and security become the focus of my life.”
3. “It’s strange, but when it comes right down to it I never do fall apart — even when I’m sure I will.”
4. “Life is a series of unlikely events, isn’t it? Hers certainly is. One unlikely event after another, adding up to a rich, complicated whole. And who knows what’s still to come?”
5. “That’s not a bad word… hate and war are bad words, but fuck isn’t.”
6. “Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.”
7. “Anything could go wrong any day of the week. What’s the point of worrying in advance?”
8. “Some changes happen deep down inside of you. And the truth is, only you know about them. Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”
9. “Not everything has to have a point. Some things just are.”
10. “What’s the point of thinking about how it’s going to end when it’s just the beginning?”
11. “A person without curiosity may as well be dead.”
12. “Nothing matters but the moment. There might be no tomorrow, and, even if there is, nobody gives a damn.”
13. “You have to come to terms with your parents, your siblings. You can’t deny they ever happened. You can’t deny you ever loved them, love them still, even if loving them causes you pain.”
14. “The truth will make you odd.”
15. “Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret. I just told my mother I want a bra. Please help me grow, God. You know where.”
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