Judy Blume speaks about her career and what it means to write a "Banned Book"
Judy Blume speaks about her career and what it means to write a "Banned Book" Judy Blume at the LA Times Festival of Books. (AP Photo/Katy Winn/Kathy Willens, File)
Judy Blume speaks about her career and what it means to write a "Banned Book"
Lexile: 1040L
Lexile

Assign to Google Classroom

For decades, adolescents have found a sympathetic voice in the books of Judy Blume, who has dealt unflinchingly with coming-of-age issues. She received the John P. McGovern Award from the Smithsonian Associates for her contributions to the American family, and she corresponded with the magazine's Jeff Campagna via e-mail.

What do you think it is about your writing that has made your books become such integral parts of so many people's childhoods?

I wish I knew (because) I'm grateful to my readers, who can probably answer this question better than I can. Someone just wrote to say that "Tiger Eyes," the movie we shot based on my book, is intimate in the same way that my books are. Maybe that's it, but thinking about this is dangerous for me . . . because I don't really understand it, which can lead to worrying that I'll never be able to do it again.
  
What are three things about you that would surprise us?

I'm phobic about thunderstorms (and) writing is incredibly hard for me. I'm not the world's best mother, though kids always assume I must be, and I love a good cupcake. (I know, that makes four things, but I'm hungry and wishing I had that cupcake.)
  
Name one book you wish you'd written and why?
 
That's a hard question, there are so many good books, (but) looking up at my bookshelves, I see Doris Lessing's "Martha Quest," a book that has stayed with me since I first read it. It took me to another time and place; it made me think, question (and) it led me to seek out and read other books. 
 
Do you plan which important life issue you will deal with in a book? 

I always have some idea of the story I'm about to tell. I knew Davey's father would die suddenly and violently in "Tiger Eyes" (and) I knew Rachel Robinson's brother Charles would disrupt the family in "Here's to You, Rachel Robinson."  With "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret," I thought I was writing about organized religion, yet the book has become famous for dealing with puberty. Hardly anyone ever mentions religion or Margaret's very personal relationship with God. There's so much I don't know when I start writing a book. That's the best part of writing for me, the surprises along the way.
  
Which character from your books do you identify with the most?

Sally from "Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself." It's my most autobiographical book, but I identify with all of my characters. A writer has to do so if she wants her readers to identify with them as well.
  
Four of your books are among the American Library Association's Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009. How do authors feel when they are added to this list?

I suspect many authors today are proud because those who challenge their books don't do so unless they aren't already popular, but when my books were first attacked in the early 1980s, there was no list and I felt no pride, only anger, sadness and a sense of isolation.
  
You've written for a wide range of ages. Have you developed a preference for a certain age group at this point? 

I like the 12-and-under set and also the adult voice, yet here I am writing a long, complicated novel from various viewpoints, all of them teenagers in the '50s. I think it has more to do with not repeating myself more than anything else; I need challenges in my work.
  
You've become an outspoken advocate for intellectual freedom.  

It feels much better speaking out. Finding the NCAC (National Coalition Against Censorship) was a life-changing event. I realized I wasn't alone, which is funny, because that's what my readers often say to me.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/teen/judy-blume-speaks-about-her-career-and-what-it-means-write-banned-book/

Filed Under:  
Assigned 97 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why might a writer prefer to write for particular age group?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (39)
  • pamelap-bri
    11/08/2016 - 10:00 a.m.

    The author might prefer to write in a particualr age group because she might relate more to a cerain type of theme.As the author said sally from "Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself." "It's my most autobiographical book, but I identify with all of my characters". It says she identifys with all her characters meaning she relates to them and their is part of her in them.

  • paytonb-bri
    11/08/2016 - 10:36 a.m.

    cuz they understand what she talks about

  • josea-bri
    11/08/2016 - 10:37 a.m.

    so the people of that age know what she is saying

  • isaacr-bri
    11/08/2016 - 10:43 a.m.

    she likes to

  • austinw1-bri
    11/08/2016 - 10:46 a.m.

    because she might not like righting certain books

  • ravenh-bri
    11/08/2016 - 10:46 a.m.

    they might write to a particular age group because thats whats eh is ebst at and she would know what they would like to read. according to the text, " I like the 12-and-under set and also the adult voice, yet here I am writing a long, complicated novel from various viewpoints, all of them teenagers in the '50s". this is what she likes to do is write for a special age group.

  • kaneshiaj-bri
    11/08/2016 - 10:51 a.m.

    I personally have never read any of Judy Blume's books, so I cannot identify nor relate to any of the characters. Although, my mother has informed me about the book, "Are You There God? It's Me Margret." I do think that people would react the same if not worse. Because of the way that parents dealt with their children not wanting to grow up, while thinking that it should be the parents telling their children this, not an author. Today's culture is very different from the 80's, being more modest back then. People are not modest at all now that religion is not as important as it used to be. Therefore, people would've been acting more or less obliging the fact that Judy Blume's books are regarding helping young ladies proceed into the lives that they are building towards today.

  • kaneshiaj-bri
    11/08/2016 - 10:52 a.m.

    personally have never read any of Judy Blume's books, so I cannot identify nor relate to any of the characters. Although, my mother has informed me about the book, "Are You There God? It's Me Margret." I do think that people would react the same if not worse. Because of the way that parents dealt with their children not wanting to grow up, while thinking that it should be the parents telling their children this, not an author. Today's culture is very different from the 80's, being more modest back then. People are not modest at all now that religion is not as important as it used to be. Therefore, people would've been acting more or less obliging the fact that Judy Blume's books are regarding helping young ladies proceed into the lives that they are building towards today.

  • paytonb-bri
    11/08/2016 - 10:53 a.m.

    she was old. she wanted people who understood her and not some people who had no idea what she was talking about. so she made her own age groupe.

  • damianv-bri
    11/08/2016 - 10:54 a.m.

    she like kids and se likes doing what shes does

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT