Classic Children's Literature Author Judy Blume
Judy Blume is a famous American author who writes fiction for adolescents and teenagers. She was born on February 12, 1938 to Esther and Rudolf Sussman. Although she’s now synonymous with novels for teenagers, she started her writing career by writing books for a younger age group. Most of her childhood was spent in Elizabeth, New Jersey. She also lived in Miami for a couple of years. Blume completed her schooling from Battin High School, and graduated from New York University. She published her first book in 1969, The One in the Middle is a Green Kangaroo.
The 1970’s was one of the most prolific decades for Judy Blume. Thirteen of her books were published which included some of her most popular novels such as Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, Blubber, Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great and Tales of A Fourth Grade Nothing. Her novels have been translated in 31 languages, and the worldwide sales of her novels have exceeded 80 million copies. Judy’s Blume’s novels are noted for the controversial themes. In fact, she was one of the first novelists to explore the subject of racism.
Since her books are primarily meant for children, they are written in a light tone. The specialty of her novels is her writing style which succeeds in incorporating adult themes such as sexuality, divorce, and religion in children’s novels without using a complex prose style. While the novels Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing and Superfudge dealt with the life and experiences of a ten year old and his brother Fudge, the controversial and censored book Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret depicted the life of an eleven-year-old girl and her apprehensions about her menstrual periods. In 1981, she published Tiger Eyes, a novel in which a fifteen year old boy comes to terms with the murder of his father. Tiger Eyes is widely regarded as Blume’s finest literary work, as it successfully integrates sensitive subjects like alcoholism, anti-intellectualism and suicide in a children’s novel. Another one of Blume’s controversial novels was called Forever (1975). The story narrated the life of an eighteen year old girl and her sexual experiences. Containing graphic sexual descriptions, it’s banned because it dealt with teenage angst and sexuality.
Although Judy Blume has been criticized for introducing controversial subjects in children’s novel, she has also been highly praised for her works. Many reviewers have commended her writing for its wit, compassion, and honesty. Her novels are bestsellers worldwide because her style of writing appeals to children. The story plot, the characterization, and the nonjudgmental approach is probably what makes her books so popular with children and young adults. Her novels also accurately portray the nuances of childhood. The emotions, speech, and the private thoughts of children are accurately captured in her novels, which makes reading her novels so enjoyable and easy for children.
Throughout her literary career, Blume’s works has been constantly acknowledged as she has won some awards and prizes. In 1996, Blume received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for her accomplishments in the area of young adult literature. In April 2000, Blume was awarded the Library of Congress Living Legends award for her contribution to American heritage and culture. In 2004, she received the National Book Foundation Medal for her invaluable contribution to American letters. She got married during her college days to John Blume. Later, she got divorced, and married Thomas Kitchens in 1978. She is presently married to George Cooper. Some of her hobbies include going to the theatre, needlework, dancing, and watching baseball.
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