Judy Blume and the History of YAL

I just finished a warm and insightful magazine piece (from The NYT Magazine) on Judy Blume. I’ll be honest up front here and admit that I never read any Judy Blume books as a teen, even though I knew about them, because I thought they were either girl books (in the case of books like Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret or Forever…) or for little kids (as in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing or Superfudge). In retrospect, I find that kind of funny because I recall knowing that her books were ┬ácontroversial, and that typically would have encouraged me to take a chance on a book. Not in this case, I guess.

There are some interesting insights in the piece into Blume and her writing and some nice quotes from current YA authors who unanimously credit Blume with being influential in their own writing and/or to the legitimacy of YA literature today. One author, Carolyn┬áMackler, who I think has some of the most creatively titled books, reflected on Blume’s authentic characters and stories:

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