Judy Blume is the author of over 50 works spanning children's, juvenile, young adult, and adult literature! When I was younger, I read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and thought it was hilarious! But that is really the only Judy Blume novel I remember ever reading! And as a future librarian, I feel like this is a sin! Judy Blume has been monumental in shaping juvenile/young adult literature, and she has even found her way onto the BANNED LIST (*Gasp*). So I desperately wanted to spend some dedicated reading time in Judy Blume Land, both to familiarize myself with her work, but mostly just to have some laughs!
That is why I have started with probably her most famous series--FUDGE! No, I do not mean the candy (though that is good too!). One of the most memorable characters in juvenile fiction has to be Farley Drexel Hatcher, otherwise known as Fudge! He is the younger brother of Peter Hatcher, who narrates the entire series (minus the breakout novel narrated by Sheila). Let me just tell you, if you are looking for a super entertaining children's series, this would definitely be up there! Peter Hatcher's narrating is humorous and real (for the 9 year old he is!). And the great thing is, as readers, we get to see both him and Fudge grow up!
With the Fudge series, Judy Blume has perfectly captured many of the aspects of growing up that are difficult for children to handle: the joys of younger (and new siblings); moving away; girl problems. Each and every book focuses on one of these challenges and creates a story around them, and these stories are both entertaining and enlightening.
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing: The focus of this novel is definitely Peter learning how to live with a little brother he doesn't really like all the time.
Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great: Sheila is a girl who feels alone and learns what it means to make friends and be okay with herself. And she learns to conquer her fears.
Fudge-a-mania: It's family vacation time with another family! Peter has to learn how to deal with a girl he doesn't like for an entire summer!
Double Fudge: This story focuses on Fudge, and how he has to learn exactly what money really means.
The characters of this series are so memorable and endearing. Not to mention, they just offer hours of entertainment! The Hatcher family is definitely not perfect--they represent the typical family with every day problems and annoyances. I just love how realistic and relateable the characters are, even at any age! I remember reading this series when I was younger and being able to relate to Peter and Shelia on a lot of things (younger siblings, friends). But when I read these books this time around, I found myself also relating to Mr. and Mrs. Hatcher, and even Grandma (and I am far from being a parent). For any age reader, the characters that Ms. Blume has created in this series become family--you may get annoyed, but at the end of the day, you love them more than anything!
I am really excited to read some of the works that are unfamiliar to me. I have never read some of her girl-centered books before. So Part 2 of this month will feature Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret and Blubber, and maybe a couple more! So I hope you stop by my blog on the 30th for more of this month's Juvenile Author!
Love and Property Brothers,