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I was in 5th Grade and 4 blocks away from the World Trade Center at PS 234 on September 11, 2001. I don't know if us 9/11 kids crossed your mind when you were writing "In the Unlikely Event," but I do want to thank you for the book, and also to publicly thank my 5th grade teacher, Sandy Bridges, and all the other PS 234 adults who--unlike Miri's teachers-- knew that we needed to talk about it.
I love JB's books. Do you?
I know its a little late in life to read a children's book but I just read ,"Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret." I found it delightful. I saw you on "The View." I had heard of your books because of of my granddaughter's, the one who reads, used to get me to take her to the bookstore to buy your books. I'm glad I did.
I have purchased your new book for adults. I think it will be my next read.
JUDY i love you when i was little i used to whatch your movies now i read them your number 1 fan ambarHometown: ny - Age: 9 - Posted June 27, 2015 8:34 am
Thank you so much for writing about the plane crashes as horrible as they were. I was born in Elizabeth, NJ in 1950, moved to Texas in 1953 and my parents never mentioned the crashes so I was so shocked to find out they had happened. My guess is it was such a sad time my parents didn't want to talk about the tragic events. I have only been back to Elizabeth once so I enjoyed reading about places I heard about from my Dad. My grandparents lived on Westminister Avenue, my Dad went to Pingry School and we moved in 1951 to Cranford. The one time I went back. my aunt took me to a restaurant that was owned by Dorothy Dennis. In addition to learning about the place I was born, I enjoyed the characters in the book. Thank you for giving me a little piece of my childhood history.Hometown: Houston, TX - Age: 64 - Posted June 26, 2015 5:36 pm
Judy Blume I love you I have al your books plz make more soonHometown: bristle - Age: 10 - Posted June 25, 2015 10:44 pm
Hi Ms Blume, I have been a reader of your books the majority of my life. I am now reading an unlikely event which I am enjoying despite the sad events that are a large part of the story. I love the time period and the music involved as I used to listen with my Nana to a classic station so it brings back wonderful memories. Thank you so much for all the wonderful books you have enriched my life with and bringing back memories of my mother too. I wish you the best ,
Hi Judy! Just heard the feature on All Things Considered about your "Sally J Freedman" winters in Miami Beach -- LOVED it!! I discovered that book when I was in 6th grade and was thrilled there was actually a Judy Blume book I hadn't yet read! I wondered if Sally was you when you were that age Thanks so very very much for ALL your works. As so many readers have told you, you made a HUGE positive difference in my childhood and young teen years, helping me realize I was normal in so many ways when I needed to hear it the most!! So glad you're still writing (well, you're much too young to retire)...please keep it up, you are a treasure.Hometown: St Louis Park - Age: 47 - Posted June 25, 2015 4:04 pm
Judy, thank you so much for speaking at the Greenwich Library. You were wonderful! I laughed, I cried, I applauded for Blubber! What more could you ask for! A group of women so diverse, yet united in their love of reading, and their love of reading you! Look at the good you have brought to the world! Warm regards, RobinHometown: Brooklyn - Age: 59 - Posted June 25, 2015 8:13 am
Hi judy! I have read every single one of your kids books, and all of the young adult books. (Expect Forever, but i reaaaalllly want to.) My favorite is probably Tiger Eyes. It is so inspiring, and a wonderful story. Thank you for writing theses books, because basically that is all that is on my bookshelf.Hometown: Telluride, CO - Age: 11 - Posted June 24, 2015 7:01 pm
Weíre about the same age, and I grew up in Ridgewood, New Jersey. I remember the three plane crashes only too well. A good friend of my fatherís had treated his daughter, her husband, their four children to a trip home--and all were killed in one of the crashes. No one could comfort the man, nothing could ease the pain of his guilt. He went from being president of a large company in New York City to an alcoholic, eventually unable to work. A sad story in every way. Since the memory is still so strong, Iím not sure if I can read your new book--much as Iíve been waiting for it.
That said, Iíve read every one of your books--the ones for kids as our girls were growing up--and loved them all. You are a brilliant writer, and I admire your insights and the way you are able to get into the heads of young people. Thank you, thank you! A couple of your books got points across to our girls in ways nothing I could say ever would.
Nice to read that youíre happy in Florida, enjoying the good life. Take care. Thank you again for the pleasure of your fiction.
I have been a fan since I was 8 years old, the first book bought for me was Starring Sally J. Freedman as herself. I still read the book on occasion and it still makes me smile!Hometown: Anchorage - Age: 42 - Posted June 24, 2015 2:11 pm
Am reading your latest book, and having lived in the Elmora section of Elizabeth in the 40's and 50's I well remember the crashes, and all the places mentioned in your novel. I remember how tramatized I was by the events. Our family had driven to the crash sites. I am reliving all the emotions.Hometown: lakewood - Age: 75 - Posted June 24, 2015 12:38 am
There's a passage (three paragraphs to be exact) in "Censorship: A Personal View" that always gives me chills. As a reader, writer, and college-level English teacher, I want to thank you for these words.
As I understand it, the essay was initially written as an introduction to Places I Never Meant to Be. In any case, it's been reprinted (with permission) in our course textbook. As such, I discuss it with my Comp 2 students every semester because--as developing critical thinkers--they need to hear (and, I hope, truly consider) these words too.
Thank you for being brave.
Write a nother Fudge book I love themHometown: Burnaby - Age: 10 - Posted June 23, 2015 9:49 am
I forgot to mention that I bought the book when I went to your presentation at Temple Judea in Miami, sponsored by Books & Books.Hometown: Aventura, FL - Age: 83 - Posted June 23, 2015 1:09 am
I am representing the Placenta Library Friends Foundation which handles an annual Author's Luncheon which is our biggest fund raiser for the library (which relies on our funding as they are not apart of the county system and only receive small percentage monies from state. Are you available March 5, 2016 for our function? Thank you for yor considerationHometown: Placentia, CA 92870 - Age: 69 - Posted June 22, 2015 6:18 pm
Judy, I was in 7th grade at Alexander Hamilton jr. high during those plane crashes in Elizabeth.It was a scary time with all the rumors going around. I loved the book. It was a trip back into me childhood. I lived on Stiles St off of Magie.went to Battin High.shopped in all those stores you mentioned,took dance lessons from mrs. Rankin and went on to graduate from Elizabeth General Hospital School of Nursing.I married,raised 5 daughters in New Providence N.J. and went back to Elizabeth often to visit parents. I now live in Venice,FL. Thanks for a great story and thanks for the memories.Hometown: Elizabeth n.j. - Age: 76 - Posted June 21, 2015 4:00 pm
I am just beginning your latest book and noticed the main characters' last name of Ammerman. I was born in Morristown NJ and my great-grandmother was Sarah Ammerman Smith. She is buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Morristown. I was just wondering if it was a common name in your area. I haven't begun the family search of that side of the family yet. My daughter, now 44 has all your early books and now her 14 yr. old daughter has them. Thank you for such great work.Hometown: Morristown NJ - Age: 71 - Posted June 21, 2015 10:59 am
Hi I'm a huge fan of your books. My favourite was Forever when I was a teen and read it so my times. Now has an adult I still love reading that book.
Thank you for those great books and good reading.
Read In the Unlikely Event in one day. Loved the book soooooo much. Based on your recommendation, picked up Replacement Child at my local library which I also completed in one day. Thank you for being such a wonderful writer.Hometown: Long Beach, NY - Age: 75 - Posted June 20, 2015 9:40 am
I loved this book. My family is from Elizabeth and I recognized Schutt's, Goerke", etc. I was 6 years old and remember the 3 crashes particularly the 3rd one as I lived right around the corner off Westminster. It roared right over the house before hitting the apartment house. The book brought back vivid memories as if it was yesterday. You incorporated so many real facts - my mother worked at the hospital and saw the baby who was so burned just like Betsy. And of course Mason who was the real life hero Bobby Quinn. Thanks for writing this.Hometown: elizabeth - Age: 69 - Posted June 19, 2015 6:32 pm
Thank you for every book, every word ever written in those books and your incredible empathic insight to young girls!! I grew reading all your books (and no, the nuns didn't like it)but I did as did my other girlfriends.
thank you and hang in there just finished 2nd time w/ chemo
I loved your book! I grew up in Elizabeth many years ago and was back there again with Miri Ammerman yesterday. You opened my eyes and heart to years, places and people I had almost forgotten. I can't thank you enough for the pleasure you have given me during the past few days. It was a lovely "visit" that I shall long cherish. We lived on Coolidge Rd. My brother is Don Clarick. Leila Poch was my dearest friend and my husband was at the University of New Mexico teaching ob-gyn in the 1980s when we joined you and your husband for lunch one afternoon in Santa Fe. I am so happy for you and wish you continued success and much happiness.
Bobby Clarick Rosenfeld
Laguna Woods. California
I teach Creative Writing 1 and 2 at Boca Raton High School in Boca Raton, Florida. I was wondering if you might consider Skyping with us this school year. I know this is probably a crazy request that may seem audacious, but I know how young people are a passion of yours. It would certainly be a life changing experience for my students. Your books have shaped and molded so many of our adolescent experiences, and I figured it was worth a shot! If you never ask...
Thank you so much for your consideration.
I really enjoy reading your books, back from when I was little and my mom had to read then to me. I really enjoy reading your book and I love all the detail you include in your stories. My favorite characters Is Sheila ( we read Otherwise Known as sheila the great in school). I like Sheila because she reminds me a little of my self because I can be a little bit of a drama queen. I think that the plot in Known as Sheila the Great is perfectly planned out and wonderful detailed. My favorite part of Otherwise Known As Sheila The Great Is when they made a slambook because its such a bad game idea its funny. I also like the part when Jenifer's friend licks Sheila and she thinks shes going to die. In closing, you are one of my favorite writers and I am looking forward to reading more of your books-
best of luck,
Dear Judy Blume,
I was very interested in reading your book,''Otherwise known as Sheila the Great'',for many reasons. I think your books are funny, your jokes and the language made us laugh in class. I also like how you make the characters feel alive and how you describe them. I like how you describe the setting and the words you put.I also like the plot and I am looking forward to reading one of your books and for Summer Homework.
Dear Judy Blume,
I was very interested in reading your book"Otherwise Known As Sheila The Great" for many reasons. I really like your characters character traits. For example, Sheila says that she can't swim because she is sick, even though she is scared of swimming. Also,I can relate your characters to my life, like when Sheila says that is allergic to dogs, even though she is scared of dogs. I also love the setting and plot of Tarrytown. For example, the Headless Horseman scares Shelia In conclusion, after reading your book "Otherwise Known As Sheila The Great" with my 6/5th grade ELA class, I really loved your style of writing.
Yours truly, Matthew
PS Make a book about modern society
Hi, Judy, I grew up at 930 Park Avenue (the only modern split level in the area), went to School #21, Hamilton and Battin. I left Elizabeth in 1973 (my family moved to Phoenix) and your book is bringing back so many memories that I thought were forgotten - Levy Bros, Goerkes, Bnai Israel, Vail Deane, Pingry, et al. I caught the 24 bus right across the street from my house to get to Hamilton and Battin and remember waiting in the freezing cold in high school, on Broad Street, for the bus to come. It never came soon enough!! I live in Evanston, IL now and have been in the Chicago metropolitan since I graduated from grad school. I've only gone back to Elizabeth for my grandmother's funeral at the JEC and for my 40th Battin reunion. Your book has made it possible for me to go home again and again, and I sincerely thank you for giving me that opportunity. Last, but not least, I would loved this book even if it were not set in Elizabeth; It is wonderful and I was sorry to finish it.
Dear Mrs. Judy Blume,
After reading your book, "Otherwise Known as Sheila The Great", my class and I have been very interested in you and your books. They are very funny because of the language and the jokes you use. There are also relatable characters. For example, Sheila is bossy, fearful, and dishonest. Which a lot of people can relate to. Thank you for adding the topic of dogs in your books (I really like dogs).In all I am really looking forward to to reading more of your books for summer homework. sincerely,
i like your books alotHometown: nyc - Age: 11 - Posted June 17, 2015 8:30 am
Dear Judy Blume,
I was excited reading your book,"Otherwise Known as Shelia The Great", for a lot of reasons. It was relatable because I was afraid of spiders just like Sheila.Also, it was funny because of the amazing jokes. It looked like you took your time because you didn't rush to finish it. It also has a lot of details to help us learn more about the characters. I will read more books of yours for summer homework and thank you for making summer homework more fun!
Dear Judy Blume,
I was very interested in reading your book, "Otherwise Known as Shelia the Great", for many reasons. First of all, I really liked how you explain the characters in detail. For example, you explained Shelia being dramatic. Also your story was funny because my class and I laughed at the language and jokes. Another point is that my class studied transition words and you used them in your writing. The thing that I liked the most is that you put the characters in their shoes because you make them real. Overall, when I read your book it made me imagine that I was that character in the story.
Dear Judy Blume,
After reading your book, "Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great", with my class I liked it and here are some reasons why. It was funny because of the language and all of Sheila's fears. The characters were relatable and they felt like real people. I think that it had a great plot structure. I also liked how there were a lot of settings. Overall, I liked your book and I'm excited to read another one.
Dear Judy Blume,
I read your book, "Otherwise known as Sheila the Great" for ELA homework and it made my homework so much more enjoyable! All the characters in your book feel so real, since you give great details. for example, Sheila thinks Libby dances like an elephant! I also loved how you made Sheila so dramatic. For example, Sheila says she gets hives from dogs, but really she's afraid of dogs! Finally, I loved how Sheila overcomes her fears at the end of the summer! Overall, "Otherwise know as Sheila the Great" is so far my favorite book I have read this year, 2015!
Best of luck, Marie
I'm thinking of writing about my childhood, but as kids short stories. Step mom tried to sell me to the gypsies, hurricane under the docks in Oceanside, Ca. Crawling under fence to fish crawdads, rabbit hunting in San Juan Islands, Wa. What do you think? Short stories or full book? thanks. Love, LinnAnnHometown: Aberdeen - Age: 61 - Posted June 17, 2015 12:46 am
hi judy I love your books I read them in school keep doing booksHometown: scranton ,pa - Age: 10 - Posted June 15, 2015 8:24 pm
Your book has brought memories flooding back to me. My father was Melville Shapiro, a reporter for the Elizabeth Daily Journal, so the stories were all very close to my family. You met my sister Judith in Austin, Texas recently. My other sister, Linda, and I have tickets to see you in Madison, CT on the 26th are looking forward speaking with you -- and I also remember the Alexander Hamilton school song.
When I was in 6th grade I had this red headed girl who sat behind me in class. She used to pull my hair all the time. We were doing a class play and I had to wear a mask. I was so excited that she was putting it on for me that I didn't hold still and the mask fell off during my performance. Years later I met her again and told her the story. She let me take her photograph pulling her skirt up a little. When I got the picture back my finger was covering the lens. I still have both my 6th grade class picture in which I sitting next to her and the photo where my figure is covering the lens.Hometown: Stroudsburg, PA - Age: 63 - Posted June 15, 2015 12:22 pm
Do you ever accept ideas for a book you might like to write?Hometown: St. Ann, Mo - Age: 90 - Posted June 15, 2015 12:16 pm
I'm so happy; having just finished "Unlikely". Read it 2 sittings; probably could have finished it in one night, but I didn't want it to end so I tried to delay finishing it as long as I could hold out. My family lived on Keer Avenue, corner Leslie Street in the Weequhaic Section of Newark when these 3 crashes occurred. (I did however grow up in Hillside--where Pingry School used to be...). I actually remember the Miami Airlines C-46 flying overhead with white smoke trailing from the engine on the wing. And listen to this! My Father, in his infinite wisdom..., took me in his Kaiser over to the National Airlines flight, near Elmora Avenue, to see the wreckage. (How f-cked up was that?) I have never forgotten that. I still clearly recall the field of so much wreckage in front of that apartment house with the top floor sheared off. I presume that the orphanage was around there somewhere. God, the things you never forget. I remember my Mother telling me that, "We knew the family who was killed in that crash." It still gives me the creeps thinking about that field with all the wreckage and God-Knows-What-Else scattered all over. The papers referred to those 3 crashes as, "The Elizabeth Trilogy". Whenever I fly out of Newark on my way to Fort Lauderdale/North Miami Bitch, I always seem to sit on the side of the plane (window seat, of course) looking down on downtown Elizabeth and the Elmora section. (I, too, used to sometimes go to the Elmora Movie Theater--mostly the Mayfair in Hillside, and the Roosevelt in Newark however.) You sure did your research and--as New York Jews went to the Catskills for summer vacations, Newark and surrounding area Jews went to "Bradley Beach".
I remember Bradley so well from the early '50's. Schwartz's bungalows, the LaReine and the adjoining Bradley Hotels (before they were conjoined), Bess Myserson fresh from The Big Payoff judging all the yentas in their stoles and beaded bags for the "Mrs. Bradley Beach Contest".
All the ladies, parading up and down the boardwalk in hot summer weather with fur stoles and too much red makeup. Things you never forget.
Bottom Line: Girlfriend, you did one heck of a good job with "Unlikely". I wish it would have gone on another 300 pages.
Oh! Weren't you the "dame" who did the "Mr. Peepers" columns for New York Magazine--when that magazine was a worthwhile read...? Remember "Martini Acres"??
Another "Oh!". In a Fort Liquordale bar, I met some guy who claimed he was your assistant when he lived down in Key West. Forgot his name, but he did buy me a glass of what probably was gin.
My Father became the Principal of Irvington High, but we lived in Hillside, moving there from Newark in 1954 (maybe?) on Wynmoor Ave. and Winans Street. I went to Hillside High. And learned more there than I ever did at Penn State.
And--I never molested anyone....
Not even myself.
My family is all gone; I'm an orphan now.
But, I've adopted a nice little Colombian family (sort of) who live in the cramped one-bedroom next to what was my Mother's and Father's apartment. Mine now. They have a wonderful little boy named, Sebastian (Sebas) and now I have a Godson! (sort of)
How cool is that?
Hey! Maybe you could write another book--about Bradley Beach. (There was one, by the way. Out of print now. Like my love life.)
Oh! There was one other thing I just need to bore you with: When we still lived on Keer Avenue, my family shipped me off to "Golden Acres Day Camp" in Roseland, NJ (wherever the f. that was). Owned by Goldie Wickenfeld and some guy who was either her husband or her lover.) It was near to Longy Zwillman's estate. Periodically we kiddies were taken there to play in the wonderful gardens--resembling--as I now believe--the Tivoli Gardens outside Rome. There were tons of peacocks there. TONS! and I so recall trying to steal one. Guess Longy didn't see.
for you, Stuart.
Hi, Judy. We were neighbors back then, you on Shelley Ave (down the road from the Glennons?) and me on Wyoming.
I have a vivid memory of the first plane going over my house, right engine afire. And I remember the EDJ article after the third, noting that a piece of mail from a European man to an Elizabeth relative was delivered, even though addressed to "Airplane Crash City, USA"
I'm busy enjoying the book now, but wonder if you could help us out a bit by publishing a cast of characters. It's not quite like reading "War & Piece." but same idea.
I'm finding the little details charming -- street names, store names, etc. Thank you for giving me a trip back in time.
I was your Boston media guide several years ago. You spoke of grandkids in private school in
Cambridge and I shared that I had two at BB& N, Little did I know that in our sharing ,you were familiar with the 3 plane crashes in NJ. I lost my grandmother and aunt in the first one.As a 12 yr. breast cancer survivor, I can only say that life continues to be beautiful and we are blessed with great medical services, Wishing you well. Lucky Hill
My 81 y/o mother remembers a plane flying overhead as she was sitting in class at Battin High in Elizabeth, NJ and posted a comment about it. I on the other hand remember reading your books as a young girl. Everything from "Margaret" to "Forever" to "Wifey" and more. I always looked forward to getting home from school and reading your books. I couldn't get enough. Thank you.Hometown: Miami - Age: 47 - Posted June 14, 2015 4:12 pm
Myself and two other classmates, with whom I still keep in touch, one in Warren & one in Colonia NJ, remember the plane crash. We were in the same room in Battin Sr. High (graduated in 1951) and saw the plane fly overhead. I never forgot the feeling and told my family about this.
My parents knew a Sussman family who lived across the street on Second St. Good luck to you.
I have long been a fan of your books. As a teacher and as a parent , I have read your books aloud to many, many children who have laughed till they were in tears and begged for another chapter.
While I have read your adult books as well., I was especially looking forward to In the Unlikely Event, which I chose for my book club to read. The story line and time sounded interesting but the place is what made me buy the book as soon as it was available. Elizabeth , New Jersey has a special place in my heart , especially 227 Shelly Avenue. That was a house and a place I knew well. After my aunt and uncle bought the house in the late 50's, I spent every holiday and most vacations there til I was married. My mom was a young widow and her sister opened her home to us. We shopped and went to movies on Elmora Avenue, picked up the Journal at the candy store on Magie, drove to Lord and Taylor for a special outfit. I had no awareness of the tragic events of your story, and wonder if my aunt and uncle knew. It was probably a subject they felt was not to be discussed in front of a child.
Thank you for your book and my trip down memory lane.
I will be facilitating the discussion of Unlikely at my book club and hope to do it justice.
Mary Ellen Karycki
I'm reading your new book and I can't tell you how I am enjoying it. I was a fourth grade student at St. Mary's at the time of the crashes. You've taken me back to my childhood in many ways. I too spent hours in the stacks at the Elizabeth Public Library as you did. From Goerke' and Levy's to Kolber Sladkus, Bob and Betty's and Fishman's, Schutt's ice cream and the 24 bus to Elmora. I still go back to Spirito's for pizza when I'm in Elizabeth. My memories of the crashes are vague even though I went back to school every day across the street from the one on Williamson St. I understand why you go back to visit whenever you're in the area. So do I. Even though the central theme of your book is sad, I thank you for evoking theses memories of Elizabeth. As I'm reading, I feel like I'm back home again.
loved your chat at BookPeople today. i grew up in Roselle Park, 1 block from Elizabeth & lived there in '51 during the events that inspired the book. i was only 5 at the time, so my memory of the event is from hearing about it when i was older. another unlikely event that took place in that part of the state sometime in the 50s (it might have been in Rahway), is triplets who were born on 3 different dates. 2 were born just before & after midnight & the 3rd about 24 hours later. i think they might have been in at least 2 different hospitals tooHometown: Austin - Age: 68 - Posted June 13, 2015 6:19 pm
My mum was telling me the other day about when she was at school, and was constantly reading your novels. This led to me remembering how I used to read the Fudge series, and used to find the books so cool and daring.
And so, after some though, she ordered me Deenie, a story I have now re-read and love the words. Now me and my mum are going through a re-run of all your books, and falling back into a reading spell. Deenie is a beautiful story, and because of my C.P condition, I can completely empathize for the way Deenie felt, and how she coped with all the hospital visits and doctors, and being asked to walk around and touch her toes ect..., she was very strong, and I feel she is like a real person the way her story is portrayed. Also, Stephanie, who stars in Just as long as We're Together shares my same birthday and is my age which I think is a really nice coincidence.
I'm so happy that you're still writing and that you are focused on your next book, I hope I can have something published of my own some day.
Have a great time writing your novels!
When I was 11 my mother and father were divorcing. My mother left us, 3 children, to "find herself" in Israel. She knew I was living and breathing Judy Blume books. Before she left she wrote to Judy Blume. I never did know what she said, but weeks later a hand written note of kindness and love came from you. It helped me tremendously and I never will forget it. Thank you Judy, from a sad and lonely 11 year old who is now a well adjusted (?) and happy 49 year old. I will never forget your kindness.Hometown: Boca Raton - Age: 49 - Posted June 13, 2015 2:16 pm
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