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"
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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/

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why might a writer prefer to write for particular age group?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (39)
  • emilieg-bri
    11/08/2016 - 10:59 a.m.

    I think a writer would rather write for a particular age group because she can relate to things to that age group of people all at once instead of having to in point something and having to explain it to other age groues

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

    to effect there lifes morethan other age groups

  • gentriet-bri
    11/08/2016 - 11:39 a.m.

    a writer might prefer to write for a particular age group because they will be able to relate more to a certain age. the text says "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." the writer is connecting more with the older women rather than the younger girls.

  • aunaliah-bri
    11/08/2016 - 11:39 a.m.

    Judy Blume was not essentiallty proud of her books being banned, while she thinks other authors might be proud of that. As quoted "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.". This quote proves that Judy was not proud of this occurence.

  • efrainr-bri
    11/08/2016 - 11:42 a.m.

    A writer may prefer to write for a particular age group, because they may have a certain message they want to send through thir books to that age group. The text states that," yet here I am writing a long, complicated novel from various viewpoints." This quote explains that she is writing complicated view points. So her message may be for a older age group.

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

    A writer may perfer to write for a certain age group because they can relate to them and know what they're intreasted in. 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. Although they write for a certain age group they usually write for many age groups as well.

  • lynlyh-bri
    11/08/2016 - 11:44 a.m.

    a writer might prefer a particular age group because it might be easier to write about. you dont have to worry about other interests for younger or older preferances.

  • joels-bri
    11/08/2016 - 11:44 a.m.

    A writer might prefer to write for a particular age group because they could really relate to a certain age group or they love writing for a certain age group. As Judy Bloom said, "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 tells us why she likes the age groups that she like. It shows us that writers will write for a certain age group if they like writing the style of book suitable for that age.

  • allyssab-bri
    11/08/2016 - 11:44 a.m.

    A writer might prefer a certain age group because it might be an easy topic for them. An age where they understood their surrondings more and relate to more.

  • stever1-bri
    11/08/2016 - 11:47 a.m.

    A writer will prefer to write for a ceratin age group because they are able to comunicate better with the reader and sometimes they just like a good challenge. The text states," I think it has more to do with not repeating myself more than anything else; I need challenges in my work." This shows how Judy Blume liked to switch things up every now and then.

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