Posted By Sam Swinnerton, MKB Editor on Monday 7th Nov 2011
Discovering your first Judy Blume in the local library is like being let in on the big secret - at MKB we've all loved and devoured Judy's novels during our teens and even later on. There are lines that will stick with us forever and characters that will remain good friends always. Here's a few of the team's own personal experiences of their fav Judy Blume books.
If you've got your own Judy Blume experience share it with us!
Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret
‘I don’t use deodorant yet. I don’t think people start to smell bad until they’re at least twelve.’
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret is without doubt THE coming-of-age book for girls on the brink of teenage-hood, dealing frankly and hilariously with all the thrilling developments and unmitigated horrors that puberty brings. Margaret speaks frankly to God about the changes she is experiencing, because that is easier than talking openly to her friends or family. I think every teenage girl can empathize with this feeling: the craving for privacy coupled with the need to confide in someone (or something) who will keep your secret – be it God, a diary, a magazine agony aunt or your favourite author. Each page of this book rings true (I certainly remember ‘masking’ the purchase of –CRINGE – sanitary products on that first nervous excursion by adding surplus items, in Margaret’s case a blue pocket comb, to the shopping basket!) and it was just a huge comfort to me growing up. Fads and fashions may change, but the trials and tribulations of puberty don’t – this is an essential read for every teenage girl today.
Emma Young, Senior Editor
Just As Long as We’re Together
I first read Just As Long as We’re Together when I was 12 years-old, and it still remains one of my favourite books of all time. It is about friendship, primarily, and how our friendships change, evolve, and often come to an end. Like many teenagers, I felt that I was growing apart from the friends that I had known since I was much younger, and this book helped me to realise that that is OK and very much a part of growing-up. Similarly to the main character, Stephanie Hirsch, I also had an over-achieving best friend – just like Rachel Robinson! After reading this book I became a huge Judy Blume fan and read every single one of her books. I don’t know how I would have got through my teenage years without them.
Hattie Adam-Smith, Marketing and Publicity Assistant
Looking back at my adolescence, I sometimes wonder how I ever made it out in one piece. I was pretty lucky – I had a loving family and no major tragedies or adversities entered my young life, so I had no other option than to fixate on my own imperfections and insecurities. Oh, it was unbearable – I thought I was hideous.
Then into my life came Deenie. Deenie was beautiful and popular, which is basically what I desperately wanted to be. But Deenie had REAL problems, and just as she had to learn that true beauty comes from within, she helped me learn that lesson for myself.
Judy Blume writes the kind of books which make being a teenager infinitely more bearable. What’s more, you only realise this in retrospect, because at the time the characters and worlds she creates just feel like an extension of your own life. So thanks, Judy, from the bottom of my heart.
Lauren Ace, Publicity Manager
Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret
This is a brilliant story about growing up and all the trials and tribulations this involves, written from the point of view of an 11 year-old girl called Margaret. I first read the book when I was a similar age. I loved the fact she was worrying about things that I was thinking about too at the time – bras, boys, puberty and more. Even though my first reading of Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret was a while ago now; the story and issues tackled in this book are just as relevant today as they were then. This book is as gem and also gave us what I consider to be one of the most memorable lines in teen fiction ever, for those that haven't read it 'I must, I must, I must increase my bust!’
Sally Oliphant, Publicity Manager
Tiger Eyes is one of Judy Blume's most heartbreaking novels - I just re-read it after 15 years and it's just as powerful as it was then.
It's about a girl called Davey, whose dad dies. She, her mum and her brother move to another state to try and come to terms with what's happened - each in their different way.
This is a book about loss, about being sad and learning to be happy again, and about the moment you realise your parents are just people, with thoughts and feelings of their own. Even if you haven't been through what Davey goes through, Tiger Eyes will give you lots to think about, and it's definitely a weepy one!