To many women of my generation (and the generation before, and I hope the generations below), Judy Blume was a beacon of light, the women who wrote books that let us know that what we felt was normal. She wrote about friendships and families and divorce and what we feel inside. And I recently learned that she was banned from many libraries because she wrote about things which were controversial – menstruation and masturbation and birth control and the like. I now not only love her as an author, but as a hero.
Stephanie is starting middle school and is fearful that her relationship with her best friend Rachel might change, especially as they are not in the same classes and there is a new girl, Alison, who she quickly becomes close to. In addition to this, things are happening at home, she’s becoming interested in boys, and her younger brother is having nightmares about nuclear war.
This is what Blume is all about. Through Stephanie, we see the fear to face the changes that are out of control in our lives, the rose-coloured glasses view of other people and the confusing emotions of teenagers (and, let’s face it, older folks too!). This isn’t my favourite Blume (as a Margaret growing up in a world with few Margarets of my own age, it would absolutely have to be Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret.) but it’s a good one!