Creator / Judy Blume
Judith Sussman "Judy" Blume
(born February 12, 1938) is an American writer, best known as an author of children's and young adult novels, she has also written several novels for adults. Her works were and continue to be frequently banned
because she was one of the first authors of Young Adult novels to write about certain subjects previously considered "adult." The basis of her YA writing has always been pretty much that she didn't want to treat her audience like they were unitelligent: "I wanted to be honest. And I felt that no adult had been honest with me. We didn't have the information we should have had." She is a highly esteemed author in those circles that aren't trying to ban her.
And is responsible for providing Nightmare Fuel
to a whole generation.
She wrote many books. Among them are Blubber
, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.
, and Forever
. She has written one series, beginning with Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
, featuring Peter Hatcher and his Annoying Younger Sibling
Farley, universally known as "Fudge
Books by Judy Blume with their own trope pages include:
Other books by Judy Blume books provide examples of:
- Age-Appropriate Angst
- The Alcoholic: Davey's friend Jane in Tiger Eyes
- Sally of Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself has a friend, Barbara, whose mother is this. Barbara says it's because her dad died in World War II, where the book is set.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Played straight with a number of characters; mostly averted with Davey's younger brother Jason in Tiger Eyes.
- Author Avatar: Judy has said in interviews and biographies that Sally Freedman is very similar to the kind of kid she was at age ten.
- Coming-of-Age Story
- A Date with Rosie Palms
- Deenie, in the book of the same name, mentions touching her "special place" and wondering if that's why she developed scoliosis. Blume said that a principal banned the book from his school library, saying he might've allowed it if the character were a boy.
- Similar passages in Then Again, Maybe I Won't have made the book a favorite target of censors. Or perhaps it's because of the boy protagonist's nocturnal activities.
- There were passages about Davey, the female protagonist of Tiger Eyes, masturbating over an attractive, slightly older man, Wolf, in the first draft of the novel. Blume was told to edit them out due to the possibility of younger readers picking up the book.
- There's also a passing mention of this by Miri in In The Unlikely Event.
- A Day in the Limelight: Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great spotlights Peter's neighbor and rival Sheila.
- Badass Decay: In-universe, Tony thinks his brother Ralph came down with a severe case of it. Ralph used to want to be a mathematician and was nicknamed "The Wizard," but after his family gets rich, he gives up on math to follow his father in the computer software business (which he doesn't particularly enjoy) and gains weight. He also loses his close relationship and connection with Tony.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Sally Freedman's older brother Douglas is a certified genius (he built a radio by himself at age ten, for instance). But he doesn't care enough about school to work up to his potential.
- Daddy's Girl: Sally Freedman of Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself. Very much; the separation from her father is the hardest part for Sally when she, her mother, brother, and grandma temporarily move to Florida. (Dad can't go because of his job).
- Catch Your Death of Cold: In Sally J. Freedman, Sally's older brother Douglas jumps across a creek with friends and ends up sitting around the emergency room in wet clothes when he sprains an ankle. His mother, being a My Beloved Smother, fears this will happen. It doesn't, but Douglas does get a kidney infection, which becomes the impetus for the family's temporary move to the warmer clines of Florida.
- Dead Guy Junior: Gender flipped in Then Again, Maybe I Won't. Tony's baby niece is named Vincenza in honor of his eldest brother, Vinnie, who died in the Vietnam War. They call her Vicki for short.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: Tiger Eyes begins not long after protagonist Davey's father dies; it's implied throughout the book that she and her father were very close.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: It's eventually revealed in Tiger Eyes that Davey's father, shot during a convenience store robbery, bled to death in her arms while waiting for the ambulance.
- Disappeared Dad: Sally's friend Barbara has one; he was killed during World War II. Sally herself is absolutely terrified of her father dying, and thus having a Disappeared Dad, because her dad is 42. It turns out that both Sally's uncles were also 42 when they died. Eventually, Sally and Dad talk through this. Dad is fine throughout the rest of the book.
- Gender-Blender Name: Davey in Tiger Eyes. Her first name is actually Davis, which was her mother's maiden name, but everyone calls her Davey. Leads to some confusion when her brother Jason's teacher insists that Davey must be a boy and directs Jason to address his poem to her as his brother.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Deenie — their mother frequently tells people (including complete strangers) that "Deenie's the beauty, Helen's the brain." At one point Helen tells Deenie she doesn't have to fall into the role their mother has chosen for her.
- I Call Him "Mr. Happy": Forever — "Katherine... I'd like you to meet Ralph."
- I Have No Daughter: In Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself, Sally's next door neighbors the Daniels are extremely orthodox Jews. When their daughter Bubbles has premarital sex with a goy note , the Daniels sit shiva and pretend that Bubbles is dead. Sally's grandmother is infuriated - she lost an infant son and is deeply offended that they'd play-act about losing a child when they don't know what it's actually like.
- Informed Judaism
- Innocent Inaccurate: This is how Sally Freedman views The Holocaust. For example, she replaces gas chambers with "big gas ovens." She also tries to get her friends to play a pretending game called Concentration Camp. Luckily, all her friends decide the game is too creepy.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: Bitsy and Walter, Davey's aunt and uncle in Tiger Eyes, were never able to have children and are only too happy to have Bitsy's brother's widow and children come to stay with them. Unfortunately, Bitsy turns into something of a My Beloved Smother and drives Davey absolutely insane with her constant focus on safety.
- Lies to Children: In Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself, Sally asks her mother how babies are made. Her mother mumbles something about how the husband plants a seed in the wife; ten-year-old Sally wants more details, so Mrs. Freedman buys her a book about it. Later on, her unmarried teenage neighbour gets pregnant and Sally asks how that's possible, since the book told her sex was something only married people did.
- Ms. Imagination: Sally Freedman, who makes up stories starring herself inside her head a lot, and plays elaborate pretending games with friends.
- My Beloved Smother: Louise Freedman of Sally J. Freedman. Anne Hatcher of the Fudge series has shades of this, especially around Fudge.
- Naughty Birdwatching: In Then Again, Maybe I Won't, a boy discovers the girl next door likes to undress in front of the window. So he asks for some binoculars for Christmas for "bird watching" from his parents.
- The Nicknamer: The title character of Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself has a tendency to bestow rather peculiar nicknames on her loved ones. Her father, for instance, is "Dooey-bird."
- The Noun and the Noun: The Pain and the Great One.
- Parental Favoritism: Played with in The Pain And The Great One, a book told in two parts. In the first, an older sister describes how her little brother "The Pain" gets away with murder and is clearly the parents' favorite; in the second the brother describes the sister "The Great One" in pretty much the same way, also concluding that she must be the favorite.
- A fairly prominent theme in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing with Peter's parents babying his little brother Fudge, but it's toned down a lot in later Fudge books, partly due to the addition of baby sister Tootsie.
- Parents as People
- Sadist Teacher: Deenie has a minor example of one of these in the book of the same name. When she explains that she was unable to turn in an assignment on time because she was being fitted for her Milwaukee brace (in other words, having a medical procedure done and therefore on an excused absence), the teacher replies that this does not sound like a reason to miss class and she shouldn't expect more than a 50% on the assignment.
- Slut-Shaming: Covered in a few books by Blume. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. had a busty Laura Danker, whom is gossiped to have went behind the A&P with two older boys and Sally J. Freedman was answered by her Mother that "nice girls" get pregnant after marriage, look up Lies to Children above for clearer context.
- Technology Marches On: She's particularly notable for editing her books whenever the technology in them becomes outdated.
- The Holocaust: Sally Freedman's book takes place in 1948, and she had two distant relatives who died in a concentration camp (maybe Dachau but it isn't made clear). Sally, whose view of this atrocity is very sanitized, tries to deal with it by imagining herself a Holocaust-escaping heroine.
- Those Wacky Nazis: This is how Sally J. Freedman of the eponymous book Starring " " as Herself views Hitler and presumably Nazis. Justified in that her book takes place in 1948, she is only ten, and she has received a very sanitized explanation of what Nazi Germany was.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Sally of Starring Sally J. Freedman as herself has a particular fondness for jelly sandwiches, bologna, and pickles (not all together, thankfully).
- Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour: In Then Again, Maybe I Won't, main character Tony, his rich next door friend Joel and his old friend from the inner city, Frankie, are hanging out in Joel's basement when Joel jimmies into his father's liquor cabinet. The three boys get drunk. It was the first time Tony and Frankie had done this, but Joel had been drinking enough that he knew well the differences between the various kinds of alcohol.
- Rachel Robinson's brother Charles has exhibited a lot of this his whole life, according to Rachel.