All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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A video interview with

Judy Blume

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Judy Blume grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the setting of many of her books. As a child, she dreamed of being all kinds of things — detectives, a spy, an actress, even a cowgirl, but never a writer. Though she loved to read and made up stories for her paper dolls, it never occurred to her that she could be a writer.

She began her writing career when she was 27, after her children started school. In fact, her character Fudge, is based on her son, Larry, when he was a child. Her first book, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing was published in 1972. Adults will recognize the titles of many of her award-winning titles — books like Blubber, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, and Superfudge — and new generations of fans appreciate.

While Blume's picture and storybooks are warm and funny, her frank approach to young adult themes has made her books for teens a frequent target of challenges and censorship. Blume believes strongly that books encourage kids to think for themselves and she is active in the anti-censorship movement.

Blume is a grandmother now, and her grandson Elliot is the inspiration for Double Fudge, the latest in the Fudge series. Blume and her husband live in Key West, Martha's Vineyard, and New York City.

Selected Books

from Judy Blume

Double Fudge

Age Level: 9-12

When the Hatchers visit Washington D.C. so that money-obsessed Fudge can see where it is printed, they run into distant cousins who then invite themselves to stay with their relatives in New York City. Chaos ensues when the families share close quarters, all creating lots of laughs for readers.

Buy Double Fudge

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

Age Level: 12-14

Margaret and her family move from the city to a suburb where she longs to fit in. As she struggles with growing up, she talks to God (does it matter if she's Jewish or Christian?), finds new friends, and longs for a sign of growing up as she starts the 6th grade. Readers will empathize with Margaret in this contemporary classic.

Buy Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret


Age Level: 9-12

Now not only does Peter's little brother, Fudge, decide he loves Peter's sworn enemy, Sheila Tubman, his parents rent a vacation home with them! There, a grandparent from each family meets, fall in love, and decide to marry — making Sheila and Peter relatives. Rip-roaring humor abounds in this rollicking continuing family saga.

Buy Fudge-a-Mania

Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great

Age Level: 9-12

What happens to a city kid who spends the summer in the country? Sheila Tubman (aka as Peter Hatcher's nemesis) finds out as she confronts her fears ranging from dogs to swimming. Snappy dialog and recognizable characters come to life through Sheila's narration.

Buy Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great


Age Level: 9-12

Peter is now 12 and still tormented by younger brother, Fudge. And then he learns that his parents want to leave New York City for some time in the country — and a new baby in the family. One Fudge is bad enough, but how will Peter cope with yet another? Humor abounds in this recognizable tale.

Buy Superfudge

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

Age Level: 9-12

Meet the Hatchers through the voice of Peter, the oldest of son, tormented (as all siblings are) by his younger and perennially "cute" brother, Farley (better known as Fudge). Their life in an apartment in New York City sparkles with humor and plausible family scenes in this first of the stories of Peter, his family, and ultimately his neighbors.

Buy Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing