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Judy Blume: Still Awesome

And still totally getting you

Stephanie Butnick
March 31, 2011
Judy Blume and her son Lawrence Blume(Getty Images)
Judy Blume and her son Lawrence Blume(Getty Images)

This might be old news to some, but since my life has gotten significantly better after recently following Judy Blume on Twitter, I thought I’d share Haaretz’s February profile of the writer who basically invented the young-adult fiction genre as we know it. And since today Google is celebrating the 200th birthday of Robert Bunsen, of repressed-middle-school-science-class-memory fame – who, by the way, didn’t even invent the Bunsen burner himself, and, like, how is that even possible? – I figure it’s as good a day as any to pay tribute to another influential figure of formative adolescent years.

“There are two of me,” Blume told Haaretz: “Me the grown-up, the grandmother, and me who still sees the world through the eyes of a child. I can be 4 years old or 12 years old. That’s not something I think about, but when I am writing I guess that’s where I go. To that part of myself which is still at that age.” Great news for the inner tweens in all of us, who now never have to stop listening to Party in the U.S.A. What?

Of Margaret, the title character in one of her most well-known books, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Blume recalls: “Margaret was the kind of a child I was. It was my relationship with God I wrote about. I had that kind of relationship with God. I actually felt the presence of God when I was alone in the room talking to God. It is not my story though.”

And for those of you looking for your next Judy Blume fix, the film version of Tiger Eyes, which Blume adapted with her son, who also directed it, is reportedly in post-production. Talk about the circle of life. And winning!

Relatedly (maybe) in the world of things written about young adults, Motherlode, the Times’ parenting blog, asks parents: “Are you your child’s ATM?” The answer, according to a survey on personal finance web site The Mint, is overwhelmingly yes: “The poll results show that 63% of today’s kids 17 and younger are “always” given extra money when they asked for it, and 26% of children 17 and younger “sometimes” receive extra money when they ask.”

And just what are our future leaders doing with their newfound funds? “Overall, the most commonly selected reason why kids today ask for extra money is to buy tickets to a movie/concert/sporting event (40%), followed by food/drink (24%) or to buy a toy/game/phone (19%). Only 15% answered that extra dollars are spent on school/educational purposes, and 1% wanted funds to give to or participate in a charitable effort.” Way to go, 1%!

(Also, mom, if you’re reading this, I’m going to need some cash. The LIRR doesn’t pay for itself.)

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.