I’m reading a book to review for School Library Journal this weekend so I don’t have a book to share this week, but there is movie news…
It’s been 48 years since the publication of Judy Blume’s classic novel, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, was published, and it’s finally being made into a movie. As it did for many young girls, Blume’s coming of age novel answered so many questions I was afraid to ask out loud when I was twelve. Today there are more and better resources for young people to learn about changes in their bodies and their emotions, but Blume’s book stood alone in the 1970s, and it was there when I needed it most. Girls have the same concerns today, but now the issues are discussed openly on television and social media so it will be interesting to see how Blume’s book connects with girls today. I have high hopes.
Last year, a good friend of mine visited Key West where Judy Blume now owns a bookstore called Books and Books. While there, she met the author and sent me a souvenir of her visit:
As I wrote about Are You There God?, I was aware that this was – and is – a book primarily read by girls. Most books are not gender specific. I tell kids at school all of the time that there is no such thing as a “girl book” or a “boy book.” A good story always prevails. There are books, though, that might directly address a question a girl or boy has about their changing bodies and it’s important to have a place to look for that information – especially when there is no one to ask.
Shannon Hale, the author of Real Friends and the Princess in Black series, recently published an important essay on this topic for the Washington Post called “What Are We Teaching Boys When We Discourage Them from Reading Books About Girls?”
Here’s a link:
More next week –
Tommy Orange visiting Inly on Thursday!