17 April 2015

Judy Blume

Like many kids growing up in the 80s, Judy Blume books had an impact on my childhood. I read Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing and Superfudge, and even Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great. I read Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret and Blubber. For some reason, I remember the bit in Blubber about singing "Sweet and Low," even though I don't know that song at all. This is a blog about things you take with you from books, and that's what I took with me from that one. What that says about me, I  have no idea.

I read a lot of these books several times over, so it's strange that I now remember so little. Every now and then, though, some strange detail will surface in my brain. Like Sheila and the shoes. I think I remember that because I am also particular about shoes; I really dislike it when people wear shoes in the house. Maybe I lived in Japan in a previous life or something. (I do feel a strong connection to the ancient Far East.)

Peter and the turtle, and the dancing with the balloons, and the myna bird, and "Toot, toot, tootsie." Hmm. The songs stick with me. Why is that? Well, I do love music.

What's interesting is that I remember nothing of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. And I read it at least two or three times. So many parents were worried about that book for some reason (was there something about getting your period in it?), but for all the impression it made on me . . . ::shrug::

Of course, books are personal experiences. No one has the exact same response. I'm sure Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret had a huge impact on many readers. And I'm equally certain that if I began to re-read it, it would all flood back.

I was past the point of Judy Blume by the time the later Fudge books came out. I didn't read Forever or Tiger Eyes or any of those. I inhabited a strange space in that I had a reading ability that far outreached my social-emotional development. So in fifth grade I was reading Lighting by Dean [R.] Koontz but . . . somehow couldn't wrap my brain around things like crushes and dating and the stuff of YA. I feel like I skipped a whole genre, went from middle grade to adult.

Sometimes I feel like my life went that way, too.

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