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Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume Hardcover – June 5, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
This collection of 24 essays edited by O'Connell (Plan B) pays tribute to the influence of Judy Blume and her work about coming-of-age as a girl in America. In each piece, the writer reveals what O'Connell calls her "Judy Blume moment," telling a heartfelt and revealing story that reflects the same social awkwardness and true-to-life experiences Blume conveys in her novels, from menstruation to childhood bullying to masturbation. In "Cry, Linda, Cry," Meg Cabot recalls how Blume's book Blubber taught her how to laugh at herself, while also giving her the courage to stand up to schoolgirl bullies. Likewise, Stephanie Lessing, in "The One That Got Away," reflects on Blume's It's Not the End of the World, explaining the solace she found in its understanding of what it's like when parents divorce. Readers who similarly found solace and support in Blume's work should relate easily to these writers through the Blumian characters and themes they evoke. Writing in the spirit of Blume, these women present their experiences as a series of personal truths: "girl moments. Woman moments, Human moments." (June)
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"I remember how painful it was to be invisible to those other kids. And I think of Judy Blume, whose . . . name will always mean friendship to me," writes Berta Platas. "She allowed me to save myself," says Meg Cabot. In stories contributed by many well-known female writers, this anthology pays homage to the "guru" of adolescent experience. Many nostalgic selections speak about the crucial comfort that a Blume novel brought during an author's teens, soothing worries about body image, parental divorce, friendship scuffles, sex, and masturbation. Also striking are the many essays about "Judy Blume moments" in adult life. For one author, rereading Forever helped her reenter the dating world as a single thirtysomething. Another contributor remembers the teenage reassurance she'd found in Are You There God? It's Me Margaret, when, after childbirth and breast-feeding, she once again suffered from "boob drama." Funny, poignant, honest, and reverential, these stories will resonate strongly with the legions of readers who, like the authors, are grateful and lifelong Blume devotees. Engberg, Gillian
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Over twenty of the most popular female authors pay tribute to Judy Blume by offering their personal experiences. This collection of 24 essays will bring up memories of how Judy Blume had an effect on your childhood growing up. The common books discussed were "Are You There God, It's Me Margaret," "Forever," "Deenie," and my personal favorite "Just As Long As We're Together."
I remember wishing for a bigger bust-size just like Margaret. "I must, I must, I must increase my bust" was a daily chant. And I remember the time in the 4th grade when my best friend felt jealous because I befriended someone else. Our confrontation was almost identical to Stephanie and Rachel's.
"You can have more than one best friend at a time."
"No, you can't."
"Because best means best."
In the end, we came to a compromise. We're still true friends to this very day.
Judy Blume had a story for everything a girl could possibly go through: religion, parents divorcing, friendships, relationships, sexual desires, and more. Her coming-of-age stories helped us through those times. Even now as an adult, I think back to the lessons she taught me. I agree 110% that everything I needed to know about being a girl I learned from Judy Blume.
February 14, 2010
' L Marie '
A lot of the authors who contributed to this book, I'd heard of but haven't read so I also found it a great introduction to their writing style and each chapter ended with a short bio on them. The stories were heartrendingly honest. What I really liked most was how a lot of the authors connected with same book but they all connected with it for different reasons so it really showed the depth and breadth of Blume's genius. It made me want to buy a set of her books for my 13 year old cousin!
I highly recommend this book to any former Blume fan who has survived those awkward adolescent years!
I'll admit, I didn't understand all of the undertones that occurred in the books. I was either too young or simply didn't have that particular issue and therefore, didn't see myself in the book. However, reading this book of essays on Judy Blume's writings made me realize what I'd missed. I kind of want to go back and reread them all and see what I pick up on now.
If you were a fan of Judy Blume's books, you will definitely enjoy the trip down memory lane.
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Everything I Needed to Know about Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume
edited by Jennifer O'Connell
This book features a variety of...Read more