Judy Blume is one of America’s most beloved and controversial authors. She has 29 published books that have sold over 85 million copies. Her first book, The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo, was published in 1969 and her most recent novel, In the Unlikely Event, was published in 2015.
Over this 46 year career span, she received numerous awards including the American Library Association’s Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement. Blume also fights against censorship working with the National Coalition Against Censorship. Many of Blume’s books faced censorship for her brazen willingness to write about controversial topics like menstruation, sexual behavior, and death.
Blume writes for all ages, from her early chapter book series, Fudge, to young adult books like Tiger Eyes, to adult books like Wifey. Blume is a writer that creates characters that remain relevant through the years. Here are a few of Blume’s best-selling and well-loved novels.
Freckle Juice is a cute and fun early chapter book. Blume spans all age groups in her writing and this book is one of the first to give your children. This story about how young Andrew wants freckles like Nicky, and sneaky Sharon’s plot to help him get them what he wants with a not so safe recipe.
Superfudge is the first chapter book I ever read. My second grade teacher, Ms. Burgess, read a chapter aloud each day after recess. She had the perfect Fudge voice. This hilarious tale of siblings and silly adventures is perfect for early readers.
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is Fudge’s older brother, Peter’s, view of life with a terrible, troublesome little brother. Peter struggles to deal with the aggravation of Fudge. This is the first of the five books in the Fudge series.
One of the most well-known of Blume’s books, Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret is a coming of age tale about periods, religion, and fitting in. This book is a right of passage for tweens across generations.
One of Blume’s most controversial books, Blubber, addressed the issue of bullying before anyone was talking about bullying. This is a great example of how Blume did not shy away from uncomfortable topics and this passion is why Blume’s books are timeless.
Blume’s way of taking a challenging topic and entertaining the reader with her humor and spot-on voice is displayed in Iggie’s House. When a black family moves to an all white street, replacing Winnie’s best friend, questions of race, friendship, and doing the right thing are addressed. Another of Blume’s timeless books for young readers.
Blume ventures into adult fiction with her novel Summer Sisters. A weaving and entertaining story about two friends reunited after years apart will make it impossible to put the book down. Blume proves she is not only a gifted children’s book author, but demonstrates her ability to write for readers of all ages.
Blume’s latest novel, In The Unlikely Event, is one of her best. Based on events Blume experienced in the 1950’s, this book follows the characters over the course of three plane crashes that change their lives forever.
Which Judy Blume novel have you read over and over again?
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