Judy Blume's head

The Judy Blume File

One bookstore misfiled ‘Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret’ in the Bible section.

Is a passionate tap enthusiast. Once danced with Mandy Patinkin.

Has a girl crush on Zooey Deschanel: “I’m going to say it—she’s adorable.”

After ‘Forever …’—in which the male character names his penis “Ralph”—was published, she got a letter: “Dear Ms. Blume, On behalf of all boys named Ralph … how could you do this to us?”

Daughter Randy, a former airline pilot, wrote a novel called ‘Crazy in the Cockpit: A Woman Pilot’s Adventures in the Air.’

She’s rejected offers to license jeans, toys,
and bras.

Total books in print: 80 million.

Total ‘Margaret’ sales: $8.6 million.

On why she wrote for children early on

“I was a child … I had no experience as an adult.”

On requests to write a sequel to Are You There God? with a menopausal Margaret

“I don’t think so … to me, Margaret will always be 12.”

“I can imagine next year’s headline: GOODNIGHT MOON BANNED FOR ENCOURAGING CHILDREN TO COMMUNICATE WITH FURNITURE. And we all know where that can lead, don’t we?”

“My own adolescent rebellion came late, somewhere around the age of 35. I don’t recommend waiting till then. Better to drag your parents through it than your kids.”

Sample tweet

“Good things about turning 75. Don’t have to take off shoes at airport security. Don’t have to submit to body scanner. Woot!”

From 2008

“I love men, apart from one: George Bush.”

On her hate mail

“Perhaps most shocking of all was a letter from a 9-year-old, addressed to Jewdy Blume, telling me I had no right to write about Jewish angels in Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself.”

Protesters have steadily tried (and usually failed) to have Blume’s books pulled from libraries and schools. Selections from three decades of their “justifications.”

Blubber

Xenia, Ohio, 1983

“Undermines authority since the word ‘bitch’ is used in connection with a teacher.”

Muskego, Wisconsin, 1986

“The characters curse, and the leader of the taunting [of an overweight girl] is never punished for her cruelty.”

Perry Township, Ohio, 1991

“Bad is never punished. Good never comes to the fore. Evil is triumphant.”

Then Again, Maybe I Won’t

St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, 1984

“[Its] treatment of immorality and voyeurism do not provide for the growth of desirable attitudes.”

Tyrone, Pennsylvania, 1990

Challenged at an elementary-school library because it explains how to drink whiskey, vodka, and gin.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

Xenia, Ohio, 1983

“Is built around just two themes: sex and anti-Christian behavior.”

Deenie

Utah State Library Bookmobile, 1980

“The vilest sexual descriptions … [If given to] the wrong kid at the wrong time[, it would] ruin his life.”

Forever …

Green Bay, Wisconsin, 1983

“It demoralizes marital sex.”

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1984

“Pornography … [it] explores areas God didn’t intend to explore outside of marriage.”

Campbell County, Wyoming, 1986

Would encourage readers “to experiment with sexual encounters.”

Schaumburg, Illinois, 1993

“It’s basically a sexual ‘how-to-do’ book for junior high students … it puts ideas in their heads.”

Mediapolis, Iowa, 1994

“Does not promote abstinence and monogamous relationships [and] lacks any aesthetic, literary, or social value.”

Eliot, Maine, 1987

“Cast of sex-minded teenagers is not typical of high schoolers today.”

From the American Library Association’s Banned Books Resource Guide (2010 edition).

Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea

Chelsea Handler (2008)

Are You There God? It’s Me, Monica: How Nice Girls Got Casual About Oral Sex

Caitlin Flanagan (in The Atlantic, 2006)

Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer

Kristen Lamb (2011)

Are You There God? It’s Me, Mary: The Shangri-Las And the Punk Rock Love Song

Tracy Landecker (2012)

Dialogue from “Are You There God? It’s Me, Jesus,” South Park’s 1999 year-end episode:

“Are you there God? It’s me, Stan. If you wouldn’t mind, I don’t want to be the only kid who doesn’t get his period before the New Year.”