An Ode to Judy Blume, my hero, my guide.

I’m not really a hero kind of person. I mean, we’re all human. But I’ve been falling in love (all over again) with Judy Blume.

So this is an Ode.

Forever by Judy Blume

This is the edition that went around our sixth grade class. Ralph!

Dear, sweet, Judy, you make us feel less alone
And tell us we we’re okay just as we are.
‘Tis you I read when I’m the only one home,
Then emerge from my skin feeling a star.
At first there was Blubber, then there was God
A reminder, each, that kindness could live
Your voice comforted, assured, said human we be.
One copy of Forever shared on the quad
Feelings of angst did drain through a sieve
Through your eyes we did learn to see!

Not quite John Keats, but the heart is there.

So the question is, why is Judy Blume so damn awesome?

Let’s start a list. Judy Blume is:

  1. a pioneering writer who tackled all sorts of taboos.
  2. a champion against censorship.
  3. wise about writing.
  4. inspiring!

She also has that way about her, that unapologetic, take-it-or-leave-it way that I absolutely adore.

Judy Blume influences me today

The other day I remembered something from when I was quite young. It was a flash – one of those things you’ve forgotten about yourself, your past – until something makes it bubble up. I got to thinking about when my mom and I lived in a one bedroom apartment after my parents split up. I was ten. I set-up her word processor on the dining room table and began writing stories.

Thinking about Judy Blume the other day brought that memory back. It was Judy Blume I was reading when I began writing. It was Judy Blume who helped me navigate adolescence and understand my new feelings of longing. It was Judy Blume, I now realize, who informs my writing all these years later.

So perhaps she is not so much a hero as she is a guide. This may be why Monique commented on my last Judy Blume gush that she loves her, too, even though she’s in her 40s. Judy Blume is a guide for the ages.

What do you love about Judy Blume?