Life Lessons We Can Learn From Judy Blume

Judy Blume, the popular young adult author, has been bringing laughter, hope, and community to kids for decades. Her timeless novels cover issues important to readers of all genders, backgrounds, races, and religions. Blume has something out there for everyone. What many don’t realize about Blume’s work, however, is its relevance beyond our youthful era. Children’s stories are full of lessons and messages; however, by looking back on the popular stories and characters produced by Blume, we can gain reminders to carry though are life no matter our age. Read on for several life lessons as provided by some of Blume's most popular novels. 

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

Possibly Blume’s most known novel, Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret? takes us alongside the protagonist Margaret on her journey through the changes of adolescence. Not only do we experience the cringe-worthy moments of puberty with Margaret, but we get to see her spiritual and mental growth as well. Margaret shows us that change is okay and that anxiety and fear for the future are common feelings in our modern society. We live our lives busy-- always moving from one thing to the next. While some see this as the ideal lifestyle, many see this as a breeding ground for uncertainty and worry. Margaret would tell us that this is completely normal. Just as Margaret sat in anticipation as all her friends began their periods before her, we sit waiting for changes of our own. In a busy, fast moving society, it can be easy to get bogged down in the “what’s next” thoughts, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Although it is difficult, we can all work towards accepting that change is the only constant in life.

The Fudge Series

No one quite embraces their youth like Fudge in the Fudge series. Mischief, mayhem, and swallowing turtles -- Fudge has done it all. Blume not only writes to her targeted audience well, but she writes about her targeted audience well. Fudge embraces the chaos of life like many kids. There is no way we can predict what life will throw at us--just like we can’t predict what Fudge will throw at us. Being a kid who is always into some sort of trouble, Fudge doesn’t let the consequences hold him back. We have all heard the cliche “you don’t know until you try”-- well, Fudge takes this to extremes. If we all embraced the unpredictability of the universe and took a more fearless approach to the unknown, imagine how society would grow. 

Tiger Eyes

We have all faced and will continue to face trauma throughout our lives. Davey, the main character of Blume’s Tiger Eyes, is forced to carry out the remainder of her teenage years without her father after his murder. This is an unimaginable experience for most, yet we can all relate to the feeling of trauma. For a girl her age, Davey embodies bravery and resilience beyond belief. As the story progresses, we get to experience the healing process with Davey. For the most part, Davey’s journey is done through her own pursuits and isn’t guided by anyone. I think this emphasizes the idea that while trauma is not our fault, overcoming it is our responsibility. Even at her young age, Davey teaches us what it means to be resilient when the hard seems nearly unbearable.

Blume is known for her abilities to command an audience of children. She gets how to write for children and how to write about them. Many of her novels center around personal growth, however, and that isn't an idea that ends after adolescence. We are continuously changing and growing and we could all benefit from returning to our childhood for a minute through these novels. 

Sources: 1, 2, 3