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Creator / Judy Blume

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"Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won't have as much censorship because we won't have as much fear."

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 unintelligent: "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:

  • Accidental Misnaming: In It's Not the End of the World, Karen's grandfather is called Garfa by the entire family. Similar to Beezus in the Ramona series, he got that nickname when Karen's older brother Jeff was unable to pronounce "Grandpa" as a toddler.
  • Age-Appropriate Angst
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Karen in It's Not the End of the World has a crush on Gary, a boy in her class, and is devastated when he moves away. Her best friend Debbie has a crush on Karen's big brother Jeff, who is openly rude to Debbie, calling her "fat and ugly" to her face, which doesn't dissuade Debbie at all.
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  • And I Must Scream: In It's Not the End of the World, Karen tries to block out one of her parents' arguments by covering her ears and screaming as loud as she can. Her father is finally forced to give her an Armor-Piercing Slap to end the outburst.
  • 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. Masturbation is even referred to by name in a gym class health discussion in which the teacher tells the students that it's normal and healthy and not to believe the misinformation they've heard about it causing blindness or insanity. Blume said that a principal banned the book from his school library, saying he might've allowed it if the character were a boy. Tiger Eyes also originally included one, but she was persuaded to remove it to help the book reach a wider audience.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: The Pain in The Pain and the Great One (although the book also makes the point that the Great One is just as annoying in her own way).
    • Karen, protagonist of It's Not the End of the World, has one in Amy, who is forever telling jokes and riddles and is often the only one laughing at them.
  • Audience Participation: In 2018 she announced that she was finally going to start a serious effort to get film adaptations of her books made, and asked her fans to recommend which ones she should do first. Unfortunately, it wasn't much help as by far the most popular answer was "All of them." The nod went to Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret., which filmed during the spring and early summer of 2021.
  • Darker and Edgier: She's one of the most challenged and banned writers of the 20th century, due to her frank discussion of topics like puberty, menstruation, and masturbation.
  • 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.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: In It's Not the End of the World, Karen's friend Val, whose parents are also divorced, owns a book for divorced children which she considers the authority on the subject and quotes from as though it were the Bible.
  • The Hermit: In It's Not the End of the World, Jeff, the eldest child and only son, becomes increasingly moody and withdrawn as the story progresses, spending most of his time in his room.
  • I Call Him "Mister Happy": Forever — "Katherine... I'd like you to meet Ralph."
  • Informed Judaism
  • Missing Child: In It's Not the End of the World, Karen wonders if her parents would reconcile if she or one of her siblings went missing, since she's seen TV shows where that happened, and even wonders at one point which of her siblings would make the best kidnap victim. She is disabused of that notion when her older brother Jeff runs away, which not only fails to bring her parents back together, but results in one of their worst fights ever.
  • My Beloved Smother: Debbie's mom in It's Not the End of the World tells her daughter to wear several pairs of underpants when she goes ice skating so that she won't catch a kidney infection from sitting on the ice. Karen reflects that her friend's mother is overly concerned about diseases.
  • No Ending: Her books often lack much catharsis or payoff beyond the main character's personal growth, with them still dealing with all the same issues they had at the start, because that's just how life is a lot of the time.
  • The Noun and the Noun: The Pain and the Great One.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Katherine in Forever... thinks her and Michael's relationship will be Exactly What It Says on the Tin, but it turns out to be this trope.
  • The Omniscient: Karen's friend Val in It's Not the End of the World. Val explains it's because she reads The New York Times cover-to-cover every Sunday.
  • One-Book Author: Her only appearance in a television series was in The Simpsons episode "D'oh Canada", which would also count as the only time she did character acting, as her other screen role in Tiger Eyes was a Creator Cameo.
  • 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.
    • In It's Not the End of the World, Karen is shocked when she learns that her parents have been having marital problems more or less since six-year-old Amy was born, causing her to theorize that the root of the discord was that her father made Amy his favorite and her mother retaliated by making oldest child Jeff her favorite. Karen remarks she's glad to be no one's favorite.
  • Parents as People: In most of Blume's work, parents are depicted as human beings with their own faults and foibles who don't always make the right choices. On occasions this goes hand in hand with Adults Are Useless.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: It's Not The End of the World is the most depressing of Judy's middle-grade books, with Karen having to accept that her parents are getting divorced and her family may have to move, per the court law. Even so, she strives to make the best of things and accept life as it is.
  • Rousseau Was Right
  • The Runaway: Karen's brother Jeff in It's Not the End of the World runs away and is missing for several days, apparently out of hope that it would bring his separated parents back together and force them to reconcile. It fails, as Karen's parents instead end up having one of their biggest fights ever, and Karen is forced to finally admit that her parents not only won't reconcile, but are better apart than together.
  • 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.
    • Karen in It's Not the End of the World believes Stern Teacher (and former Cool Teacher) Mrs. Singer is also a Sadist Teacher, because she never gives Karen a break on anything (including forgetting lunch money and giving her a bad grade on a book report for which she hadn't read the book). Karen's friend Debbie rightfully points out that Mrs. Singer's behavior is reasonable and that the teacher doesn't appear to have any vendetta against Karen.
  • School Play: The One In The Middle Is The Green Kangaroo is about a kid who has the main part in a school play.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Blume's works talk about the harsh, unhappy aspects of growing up with the joys and wonder that life has to offer, making it in the middle.
  • Stage Mom: The title character of Deenie is blessed with not one, but two examples of this trope - her actual mother and "Aunt" Rae (who isn't Deenie's blood relative, but a close friend of her mother's) - whose attitudes toward Deenie's scoliosis and its implications for her modeling career make her situation that much harder to take (both of them implying that Deenie herself is to blame for developing scoliosis). A more minor example is Debbie's mom in It's Not the End of the World, who pushes her daughter into everything from tennis lessons to drama lessons.
  • Stern Teacher: Mrs. Singer, Karen's teacher in It's Not the End of the World, is one - she won't loan money to kids who forget their milk money and she gave Karen a D on a book report for which Karen had obviously not read the book. Remembering what a Cool Teacher Mrs. Singer used to be before she got married and looking at her parents' relationship, Karen decides it's getting married that made Mrs. Singer Take A Level In Jerkass and vows to never get married.
  • Their First Time: The novel Forever has this as a major plot point, with Katherine and Michael basically working their way through "the bases", all the way up to having sex.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Deenie gives herself one out of intense self-loathing upon first getting her brace, leaving literally only a few uneven strands, and refuses to let anyone else touch or fix it. The girl in Deenie's class who idolizes everything Deenie does then proceeds to have her own hair cut in the exact same way, much to Deenie's chagrin.


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