Something “more”

Teen spirit

When [girls] pick up Forever, her hallmark folksy, first-person voice eases their transition into the book’s more adult world, conveying subliminally the idea that sex is not something “other” – and therefore to be feared – but something “more”; the logical next step on the ladder to adulthood.

I always liked Judy Blume, despite the fact that I never understood Margaret and her friends in Are You There God? (I thought they were insane.) Anyhoo. Never owned a copy of Forever (or any other Blume books that I can recall, though I read them all), so I can’t reminisce about where I hid mine. That’s not a slight. For as much as I read, I really owned very few books as a pre-adult. Most were library books or borrowed. Forever was borrowed. It got passed around my junior high until everyone who wanted to had read it. Who it actually belonged to, I don’t remember, if I ever knew.

Blume now finds herself in the rather curious position of being, as she herself puts it, “one of the most banned writers in America” …

What I find fascinating about Judy Blume is how her books are always on those “most-banned” lists. In fact, most of the authors on those banned lists are YA authors. I find that amusing because I started reading novels-written-for-adults when I was about 10. Nothing a teen novel could throw at me was particularly revelatory. I don’t even particularly remember much about the plot of Forever (I think there was a ski trip?). What I remember is that dog-eared paperback being passed around the school.