Throwback Thursday is your weekly concentrated dose of nostalgia, where we round up the bests and worsts of all things 90s, early 2000s, and basically everything that made our youth the greatest. This week: The 5 best Judy Blume novels.
This week, I’d like to pay homage to a lady who made a big impact on me. She writes, what I think of as glorified children’s books, or self-help books for kids. That’s right, internet readers. The time has come for me to finally talk about Judy Blume. With the exception of Superfudge, I am fairly certain that every single one of her books had relatively the same plot: Your Best Friend Moved Away. Or Your Parents Got A Divorce And Then Your Best Friend Moved Away. Or You Have A Weird Illness And Your Best Friend Moved Away. Suffice it to say, when my best friend actually did move away to complete his graduate degree in Italy, I was totally prepared. While I have a tendency to mock her, I do wish Judy had written a book for adults called Your Best Friend Moved To Italy And Now You Are Stuck In Connecticut And Nobody Gets Your Jokes Anymore. Anyways, here are the best books of Blume.
Judy, you scandalous minx! This book tells of the teenage love affair between two high school seniors, Katherine and Michael. Michael is “sexually active”—an expression I have never really understood because I feel as if it makes people sound like they are robots. Katherine, however, is a virgin and unsure she wants to be sexually active. But the two of them decide that they will probably actually be together forever. And then they get it on on his sister’s bedroom floor (ew guys you couldn’t even make it to the bed, that’s gross). And then he buys her a necklace with both of their names and the word “forever” in it—BECAUSE THEY WILL TOTALLY BE TOGETHER FOREVER BECAUSE THAT IS TOTALLY HOW TEEN ROMANCE AND LOSING YOUR VIRGINITY WORKS RIGHT?! Except that summer they go their separate ways, and Katherine meets some other guy named Theo and breaks up with Michael—awkward.
Alternative Title: Teen Sex: A How-To Guide
Life Lesson Learned: You’re probably going to fall in love more than once, and as a result, you’ll probably sleep with more than one person. Thanks for teaching that one to us, Judy.
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
This is the benchmark first book in the Judy’s famous Fudge series. It tells the story of Peter, who’s young brother—Fudge—is a total annoying butthead. Not only does Fudge get everyone’s attention in the books, but he also get his own book series. Even Judy left her own character, Peter, behind in the dust, while Fudge claimed all the glory in the following books Superfudge, Fudge-a-mania, and Double Fudge. Also, Fudge eats Peter’s pet turtle.
Alternative Title: The First of Fudge
Life Lesson Learned: Little siblings are the worst and they will steal all of your glory and probably eat your pet.
So, this book actually hits a little close to home for me. It’s about Deenie, a teenage girl who is astoundingly beautiful and destined to become a supermodel, but is then diagnosed with scoliosis and must wear a back brace for several years. Now, not all of you may know that I actually did have to wear a back brace for several years after my own diagnosis with scoliosis in the fourth grade—and it totally ruined my prospective modeling career. Anyways, my mom, being the kind and thoughtful human that she is, had me read the book in hopes of it boosting my moral over the whole brace situation that I had going on. And I would like to think that I took something away from it and learned something valuable, but what really stands out in my mind is that there is a lot of masturbation in this book. Like, Judy, I know you are a saucy deviant, but tone it down a little, people give these books to their kids!
Alternative Title: This Girl Wears A Brace And Also Masturbates Like All The Time
Life Lesson Learned: My mother obviously did not read this book before she gave it to me in the fourth grade.
Of course this is the infamous Your Best Friend Moved Away book that I was discussing. Winnie’s next-door neighbor and BFF, Iggie, moves to Japan. Then an African-American family, the Garbers, moves in to Iggie’s old house. Winnie is determined to become friends with the Garbers but accidentally makes racist comments, thus deterring the friendship for a bit. But, since this is a Judy Blume novel, which is the book equivalent of an episode of Glee, everything works out fine and people forgive each other instantly. Also, some mean lady who actually is a racist tries to run the Garbers out of town, but then she moves away instead.
Alternative Title: Are You There 2014, It’s Me, Obama
Life Lesson Learned: Your best friend can be easily replaced by whoever moves into her old house.
Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret
I remember reading this book at one point, but I could not, for the life of you, tell you any of the significant details. I know it’s about a girl named Margaret. And that her mother is Christian, but her father is Jewish, and they want her to figure out her religious beliefs on her own. Being a Judy Blume book, she probably gets her period, likes a boy, and has a sassy best friend who knows way more about sex, but then moves away—I am telling you, someone always moves away in a Judy Blume novel!
Alternative Title: I Am Judy Blume And I Will Try To Fit As Much “Coming Of Age” Lessons For Young Girls In One Book As Humanly Possible
Life Lesson Learned: Probably something about my period and what it means to be sexually active and, of course, what will happen if my best friend moves away.
What was your favorite Judy Blume book?
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