Judy says: Thank you, thank you for all your wonderful notes. I only wish I could write back to each of you personally. But in order to start a new book I need serious thinking time, which means less time for e-mail. Hope you understand.
Just want you to know that my assistant and I read this guestbook every day, and try to respond when appropriate. Your continued love and support are a constant inspiration.
My life would have been so empty had it not been for the moment I discovered your books at the age of 8 when I purchased Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing at a school book fair. I am now 47, I literally grew up with your books.
It is also because of you that I actively defied my own mother when she tried to keep me from reading "inappropriate material" and why to this day seek out banned books everywhere I go. Duplicates are always rescued and passed on to good homes but MY collection of your books, as tattered as they now are live with me, they are treasure.
Also, I still love my mother and yes we still disagree often about my collection. This was all part of growing up.
Thank you for being such an incredible influence in my life. Truly, thank you so much.
I grew up reading your books when I was a adolescent and young adult. It helped me through an awkward stage in my life. I just watched your Amazon prime documentary Judy Blume Forever. All the memories from your book came rushing back to me. Inspiring me to buy your books to read again. I love your work! Thank you for all your books that inspire me and others. Much love and respect,Tricia
I am a 48 year old graduate student pursuing my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I think that is the first time that I wrote about myself in a long time without opening that I am a Mom to twin boys. They are now 18 and are up to their own adventures. I'm in finals week and am home alone and should be studying so of course instead of studying, I watched your documentary today. I started to cry as I watched your documentary and I wasn't sure why at first. Now as I type this I realize that talking about my developing body and sexuality was forbidden by my mother and I am remembering the feelings of shame that I had as a child. I was the second to last girl in my class to get her period and was taller than the boys and painfully thin and flat as a board at 14. It's funny how those feelings of inadequacy are still just beneath the surface all of these years later. I remember reading Are You There God It's Me Margaret around age 10 or 11 and feeling like I was finally being seen. I have made a point to include age appropriate talks over the years with my boys about bodies, puberty and sexuality. I don't want them to carry feelings of shame that don't seem to fade long after they should. I suppose that I shouldn't have been surprised when one of my boys told me recently out of the blue that he rode his bike to Target to pick up condoms as he and his first girlfriend are getting close. That led to a dinner with my husband and the girl's parents which led to a phone call between the girl's mother and I about our attitudes on sexuality and birth control. Boy what a difference from my experience! I remember watching a movie with my boyfriend at age 16 and had my head on a pillow that was laying on his lap. My Mom called me into the kitchen and was furious and exclaimed that boys gets erections just from sitting on a jiggly bus, what do you think happens when you put your head on their lap! That memory is burned painfully into my brain. I must have repeated that line over and over in my mind during those formative years. I am so happy that there was another grown-up in my life who talked to me about my body and feelings of growing sexuality that didn't make me feel like I was bad. Could you have known what a difference you were making to young people when you started writing? I am sad for 10-year old me and 14-year old me and 16-year old me. But I am proud of 48-year old me. You are a big part of that. Thank you.
I love your books. You are my all time favorite author! I really related to your books when I was growing up. I'm an avid reader and have a huge love of books. I'm 45 now and have two books that I'm writing. I have a vivid imagination and have so many life experiences that i need to write down. For example....im a survivor of abuse and neglect, rape, and homelessness. You're books helped me get through these tough times when i had no one to talk to about them. I just wanted to say thank you for stepping up in a Man's world and creating a world that young women and men can experience and relate to. Thank you so much for this and for being you.
Writing from Toronto. To the point.
Attended your bio film at TJFF. You asked yourself why you told people your age so frequently. Being in good shape mind and body at 83-85 today is exceptional. Aside from genetics you have worked at it successfully.
I am also an " Octo". Someone, you I hope, ought to write a book for those of us trying to enjoy this stage of life. Are we still relevant? Can we "contribute" meaningfully? Can we be s volunteer army for institutions unable to afford the manpower? What about our kids, and grandkids?"
What does active mean at this stage?
Speaking for myself I confess I need as much help as the rest of your audiences over the decades.
Leave aside its best seller potential. If you can help us continue to enjoy life at our age you would be doing all of us a Mitzvah". Seeing ourselves in your characters is the key.
I have become something of a grumpy old man with aches and pains, loss of good hearing and more from morning to night. I struggle to be useful to my family, friends, and community. ( I was a lawyer in a former life, helped run a health care company thereafter and have bern retired for over 15 years.) My wife handles her aging so much better than me. Say " Yes" please. Ron.
You won’t remember me, but 8 years ago or so I wrote you the very first year that I was transitioning. I’d mentioned I’d always loved your work, and I was reading “Margaret” again, because even as an adult, you made me feel less awkward about my life (as always!) You took the time to respond to me SO kindly, and you were SO supportive, and I want people to know that. It meant SO much to me that you took the time to respond. Being of “a certain age”, I grew up with you, and your kind response brought me joy in a VERY awkward time on the level of Mr Rogers telling me personally that I’m special. For many of us in my age, you’re right up there with him on the (sadly) short list of people that had a positive influence upon making us better people growing up. I’ve just now seen a report about “the comment”, and I knew I had to take a moment to say that I have first hand knowledge of your support of Trans people, and I thank you for it., and support you in turn. It truly meant so much to me, and I had to share it.
My big (Cis) sister and I are going to see “Margaret” together, and are SO excited, and I told her this story of your support and how much it meant to me when I first heard it was coming to the big screen. Thank you for being an ally, and thank you for being kind. I’m sorry for the hair trigger folks in my community have just now, but we collectively have had PTSD since things went south when Caitlyn Jenner came out. We have been under vicious attacks ever since. I want to assure my sisters that you are wonderful, kind, and absolutely supportive. I know this to be true first hand.
Since I’ve been this verbose, I hope you’ll forgive one small(er) update: Since we last talked, I have gone from being a disabled ex-nurse to having graduated from Mills College (when it was still a Women’s College! I’m fiercely Feminist and have always “preferred the company of Women”… even both my ex wives! Ha!) with my BA in English (in 2021), and a MFA in Creative Writing (in 2022). I am an adjunct Prof teaching English at a JC and I teach at a Prep school as well, but primarily, I am working on completing my first novel for adults (historical fiction about a lesbian couple in 1962 San Francisco). My second novel, however, will be a young person’s novel very much inspired by our interaction. I wrote one chapter in school and it was received enthusiastically! It is a kind of “Margaret” for young Trans girls, because they need a book written by someone who understands them and what they are going through in the way that you understood YOUR audience in Margaret. I’m hoping it will show the similarities between all women, CIS and Trans at that age… We all are scared to be different, we all want to be accepted and loved, and we all can’t wait to get our boobs! 🙂
Thank you so much, Ms Blume! My eternal gratitude and love to you! You made a real change in my life for the better!
(PS: Please be patient with my community. Can you imagine how many hearts would break if you were transphobic? We have lost a lot of people that we love because we were not born Cis. We can’t even appear on beer cans without being attacked. Please don’t give up on us! 💖💖💖)
Like most girls, my mother handed me my first copy of Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret when I was around ten years old. You captivated the feeling of that “awkward stage” of girlhood in such a remarkable and relatable way which has resonated with me all this long.
I began to read your Fudge series as well and truly gained my love for reading through the characters you created. My love for reading blossomed into a passion for writing my own stories.
Now, as a college graduate with and English major, I plan to teach and hopefully make time to continue writing.
With that said, I can’t see myself having this passion if it weren’t for your books growing up. You are a true treasure and I hope you know just how special you are to the writing (and reading) community.
First of all, I love that you have this guest book and read it. Amazing.
Second of all, your books rock and helped me so much during my 70s childhood.
Third of all, thank you a million for saying that you support trans and all LGBTQ youth. I have a trans child and she is amazing. But the hate and ignorance around this issue scares me - for her and all youth. I'm trying to make change in the world but there is a big, well-funded swell against us.
Your VF interview was fantastic, unsurprisingly - anyone who writes about topics the way you have throughout your career would have a clear eye towards most issues. Books do make you more empathetic - it's a shame that people can be afraid to feel empathy towards someone who may be different than them.
Keep writing please!!!
I wanted to reach out and connect.
I must say I loved your colorful glasses..where can I find the frames.. hopefully they are not just reading glasses.. I so "need" fun glasses at my age (76)..
I want to start this out by saying how much I am a fan of you and your work. I have read every book of yours, some over 10 times!
When I was in fourth grade, my teacher read to the class, “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.” I was smitten and hooked. I burned through the rest of your Fudge books. I dipped into your other books and was saddened when I reached the end of the age appropriate collection. I fell even more in love with your adult books, particularly “Smart Women”.
This year, I started my career as a third grade teacher in a rural community. My goal was to read to them a fiction book every single day. My grandmother, who was an elementary librarian for 30 years, bought me the box set of the Fudge series. Like me, 20 years ago, my third graders were enthralled. They would beg for the next book, some not being able to wait, would check out the next book ahead of me.
For me personally, you have instilled a love of reading and ignited a love of reading in 60 students (my co-teacher read it to her students and received the same reaction.)
I am forever a fan and selfishly hope you write many more books in the future.
Thank you from Lake Havasu, AZ.
I was an obsessional reader as a child and teen - spent hours hunkered down in my local library reading all sorts of books, and yours were my favourites - it seemed to me that you really 'got' children - girls in particular. I am one of the many women all over the world to whom Joanne Rowling has given a voice. I left my job in a Primary School because we were asked to agree that a very young child was now 'the opposite sex', just because that child di not conform to stereotypes, and had been teased for it. I believe we should support children to be the kind of boy or girl they want to be. I don't lie to children, and I don't pretend that other things aren't driving children's sense that they don't feel 'right'.
Thank you for defending her right to speak, and thereby, mine. Yours, and ordinary, not 'hateful' woman
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