Are You There Judy? It’s Me, Mary

May 23rd, 2012

I have been a voracious reader since the day I learned how to read. I have haunted libraries and bookstores as long as I can remember.

I just read The Hunger Games (you know, I liked it! Saw the movie too!). I borrowed it from an 11-year-old and it got me thinking: kids today have SO MUCH MORE than I did. Video games, a million different kinds of sodas, and so much more choice in reading.

When I was little, YA was not even a category. I went from kid books to grown up books with very few stops inbetween. But one notable stop was the iconic, ever fabulous, Judy Blume.

You don’t hear much about Ms. Blume nowadays, but she was perhaps the first YA writer to write about things kids were going through, and she covered all the issues. She wrote Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret for the 13-year-old girl, and Then Again, Maybe I Won’t for her twin brother. I liked that one – it gave me an insight into how boys’ minds work. Slightly disturbing.

Deenie was about a girl who was growing, but had scoliosis and had to wear a back brace. That was it. She didn’t have to travel to an arena and kill 23 other kids to save her family.

I don’t know why there is so much more YA fiction these days, or why it lends itself so well to post-apocalyptic scenarios. But I love the YA. I really do.

Sometimes, though, I hanker for a good old story from the ’70s. I gave my 11-year-old friend a couple of my favorites and she was not impressed. Nobody was chopping each other up.

Check out some of the new YA fiction. The Hunger Games was a truly entertaining read and I loved all seven of the Harry Potter Books. And if you want to wax nostalgic or revisit the problems kids had in the ’70s, there is always It’s Not The End Of The World or Forever, by Judy Blume.



Our Friends Say
  1. Marcia says:

    Wow, Judy Blume is simply inextricable from becoming a teenager when we did. Thanks for the reminder Mary!


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