Literature / Iggie's House

Iggie's House is a 1970 young adult novel by Judy Blume. The story concerns Winnie Barringer, whose best friend Iggie has moved away. The new family moving into Iggie's house are the first African Americans in the neighborhood, the Garbers. While Winnie is quick to make friends with the new kids, she realizes that some people, possibly including her own parents, have trouble seeing past a person's color. She also deals with her own preconceived notions about black people as she tries to keep the peace between herself and her new friends.

This book provides examples of

  • Big, Friendly Dog: The Garber kids get one by the name of Woozie.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Dorothy Landon is described by Winnie as having an immaculate exterior who happens to be involved in a lot of local causes and as never raising her voice, but the woman is also a controlling germ-phobe and a racist. Near the end of the story, that facade cracks as she threatens the Barringers into leaving the neighborhood before people like the Garbers take over.
  • Black Best Friend: The Garber kids become this to Winnie.
  • The Ghost: Iggie. Winnie keeps trying to write a letter to her, but something ends up happening that causes her to tear up her previous letter and start over. By the end of the story, Winnie finishes writing her letter to Iggie.
  • Henpecked Husband: Winnie privately mocks Mr. Landon as the type to just go along with what his wife says.
  • Jerkass: Big Red, who gets Winnie in trouble for going into the public swimming pool without a bathing cap on.
  • My Beloved Smother: Mrs. Landon is explained to Winnie as this by a Mr. Berger.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Big Red.
  • Playing House: Winnie Barringer and the three Garber children play house in a house that's being constructed in the neighborhood while they're on their way to a picnic near the end of the story.
  • The Runaway: Winnie wants to run away from home when her parents think of also leaving the neighborhood, with the intention of stowing away aboard a ship to find her friend Iggie in Japan, but after her parents change their minds about moving, Winnie decides not to run away.
  • Stepford Suburbia: Grove Street is a nice suburban neighborhood with some racist households like the Landons that want to keep it that way.
  • Terrified of Germs: Dorothy Landon is so terrified of her daughter Clarice touching, eating, or drinking anything that isn't hers, that Winnie Barringer often refers to the mother as Germs, Inc.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich: Winnie was looking forward to eating cherry tarts for dessert, but they never get touched as Dorothy Landon interrupts the Barringers' dinner to threaten them into leaving the neighborhood before people like the Garbers take over, only to get epically told off by Winnie's father. Winnie also gets a good shot in by telling Mrs. Landon that the Garbers use the same type of peanut butter that they do.
  • Tomboy: Winnie Barringer.