Judy Blume: Biography, Facts, Books & Banned Books

Instructor: Megan Pryor

Megan has tutored extensively and has a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Fiction.

In this lesson, we will learn about Judy Blume, a well-known young adult author. After a brief overview of her life, we will learn about her books, which have often been banned because of their controversial subject matter.

Introduction

Judy Blume has written for children, young adults, and adults, but she is best-known for her young adult novels, including Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. Though her books often revolve around controversial subject matter, they have found plenty of commercial success -- about 82 million copies have sold so far. Her books have also been translated into 32 languages.

Judy Blume Signing Her Novels
Photograph of Judy Blume

Biography

Judy Blume grew up in New Jersey in a traditional family. Her father was a dentist and her mother was a stay-at-home mom to her and her brother. Blume told herself stories growing up, but it never occurred to her that she could become a professional writer. She went to school to become a teacher and graduated from New York University in 1961 with a degree in education. Though as a child she hadn't thought to become an author, that is exactly what she did.

Judy Blume has won many awards, including the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Library Association, the Library of Congress Living Legends Award, and the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation.

In addition to receiving hundreds of letters a year from children moved by her writing, Judy Blume founded The Kids Fund, a charitable and educational foundation, and she serves as a board member on many different boards, including the National Coalition Against Censorship.

Judy Blume is still writing today at the age of 75. She is married with three children and one grandchild. She and her husband primarily live in Key West, Florida, although they travel, especially during the summer.

Facts

Judy Blume loved telling stories ever since she was very little. When she had to practice piano as a kid, she would pretend that she was a piano teacher. She even made up pretend students and kept their names written down in a notebook, along with how well they were doing.

Although her imagination has fueled a decades-long writing career, Judy Blume couldn't have imagined some of the scenarios she has had to deal with as a result of her books. One woman called her up and accused her of being a communist for writing Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, even though the book has nothing to do with politics.

Judy Blume's work is not autobiographical, but it is realistic, and some of her children's books were inspired by her children when they were young.

Books

Children's Books

The One in the Middle Is the Green Kangaroo (1969)

Freckle Juice (1971)

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (1972)

Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great (1972)

The Pain and the Great One (1974)

Superfudge (1980)

Fudge-a-Mania (1990)

Double Fudge (2002)

Soupy Saturdays with the Pain and the Great One (2007)

Going, Going, Gone! with the Pain and the Great One (2008)

Young Adult Books

Iggie's House (1970)

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret (1970)

Then Again, Maybe I Won't (1971)

It's Not the End of the World (1972)

Deenie (1973)

Blubber (1974)

Forever (1975)

Starring Sally J. Freeman as Herself (1977)

Tiger Eyes (1981)

Just as Long as We're Together (1987)

Here's to You, Rachel Robinson (1993)

Adult Novels

Wifey (1978)

Smart Women (1983)

Summer Sisters (1998)

Other

The Judy Blume Diary (1981), workbook

Letters to Judy: What Kids Wish They Could Tell You (1986), collected letters

Places I Never Meant to Be (1999), short stories edited by Judy Blume

Banned Books

Due to the controversial nature of some of her books, Judy Blume's novels have often been banned from schools. Her young adult novels, in particular, are often targeted by conservatives because of the frank way she talks about issues that impact many teenagers:

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