Judy Blume

How a critically acclaimed author has been a victim of censorship.

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Accomplishments and Critiques

Blume has said that she vividly remembers the questions and emotions of her own youth and that she attempts to show readers they are not alone in their fears and confusion. Her books read like diaries or journals, and the reader is drawn in by the narrator’s self-revelation. Blume’s work is laced with realistic personal details, from a child’s breakfast menu to sleepwear fashions.

While Blume’s work is popular with readers, critics have frequently asserted that the author’s readable style, with its emphasis on mundane detail, lacks the depth to deal with the complex issues that she raises. However, the overall evaluation of Blume’s work is ultimately determined by her loyal and enthusiastic readership. Her emotional adventure stories give her young readers a reference point from which to examine and discuss their own feelings.

Letters to Judy: What Your Kids Wish They Could Tell YouBlume has also written three novels for adults which share the writing style and empathetic tone of her juvenile fiction: Wifey (1978), concerning a woman’s search for fulfillment in her life and marriage, Smart Women (1983), about a divorced woman trying to cope with single motherhood and new relationships, and Summer Sisters, which captures the intensity and complexity in the life-long friendship between two women.

In 1986, Blume published an anthology of letters she had received from readers called Letters to Judy: What Your Kids Wish They Could Tell You (1986). The book is an attempt to help parents see life through their children’s eyes. Furthering this end, Blume established the KIDS Fund in 1981 to develop programs that encourage communication between parents and teens and that foster parent-child discussions through books.

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Amy Gottlieb

Amy Gottlieb's short stories, poetry, and essays have appeared in Lilith, Forward, Puerto del Sol, Nashim, Zeek, PresenTense, and elsewhere. She was a recent Arts Fellow at the Drisha Institute and received a 2008 BRIO award for poetry from Bronx Council on the Arts.