Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume

Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume by Jennifer O’Connell

Short Stories Book Bingo
Genre: Short Story/Non Fiction


Who am I? I am not my disease, nor my weight, nor even my children. I am not my clothing labels, my bank, my car…I am not the ugly words spoken to me by a man who wanted to hurt me. I’m not my books or even my beautiful marriage. It’s all illusionary. I am, instead, the essence inside. I am the courage to fight back after near death. I am the dignity to love my inner self…I am part of the ever elegant and evolving Universe. I am peace. I am serenity. I am blessed with compassion because of my suffering. I am grace through pain. I am kindness. I am laughter. I am all of these things. I am me.

~Erica Orloff

What young girl HASN’T been touched by the unbannable Judy Blume? For me it was Margaret. Deenie. Kathrine. (Yes, I read Forever early and no I didn’t have to hide it). It helped me to understand I wasn’t alone. It helped me to understand the topics that weren’t always up for discussion. Luckily for me, things like sex and periods were open discussion. Sadly, I grew up akward, shy, and under the ban hammer of my mother. Oh, I was allowed to read whatever I wanted. I just couldn’t be ME. At 28, I’m still trying to figure out who I am.

That aside, this is a collection from prominent women writers (such as Meg Cabot, Jennifer O’Connell, etc etc) and their personal stories on how Judy Blume shaped their akward adolescent years. Bras. Periods. The forbidden copies of Forever handed off underneath desks, and how Judy made them feel not so alone in the crazy thing we call life.

To this day, Judy Blume remains a staple and continues to be banned world wide. Of course, more contraband ends up on the list every year but Judy has been pissing off parents for decades.

Reading this made me think about my own Judy Blume experience. And how “We Must….We must…We must increase our busts!” was something to be giggled at and So Long as We’re Together made me realize some friendships aren’t forever and that’s okay. 🙂

I recommend this to the ladies of the group.


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