Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume edited by Jennifer O’Connell

I think this book is more aimed at adult women, but it reflects back on their journeys through adolescence and the assistance they found by reading Judy Blume books, so it would probably resonate well enough with teen readers as well. There are 24 different essays, with some stories written by current YA authors like Meg Cabot, Megan McCafferty, and Lara M. Zeises. Each of the writers shares her own story of growing up and experiencing “Judy Blume moments” in her adolescence. The writers not only draw the parallels between their own lives and the lives of characters in Judy Blume’s books, but they go on to explain how sharing this connection with a literary character helped them to realize they were not alone — because it’s surely happened to other girls if there is a character in a book to whom it’s happened!

Judy Blume is well known for being an author whose work has been frequently banned or challenged, and I thought that Banned Books Week was the perfect time to start reading this collection. I cannot say that I have read all (or even most) of her books, but I recognize the fact that Judy Blume’s books speak to a wide variety of girls and help them to confront a large number of difficult situations in life. Without her laying the groundwork, I am sure that YA literature would be nowhere near what it is today. So, I would like to invite you all to check out a Judy Blume book (or a dozen!) and then read this reaction to her work. And I dare you not to find a story that reminds you of either yourself or someone you know.

Happy Reading!

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One response to “Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume edited by Jennifer O’Connell

  1. Sounds like a great book. I need to buy it for my library. Thanks for the review.

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