Having only boys, I assumed that Judy Blume books would be off the table. I assumed Mrs. Blume’s book were girl books about girl issues, nothing a boy would ever want to read. So. Not. True. I have never been so glad to be proven so wrong.
A few months ago, my boys and I were driving down to my parents’ house for the weekend. I was playing an audiobook to keep me entertained, Judy Blume’s Here’s to You, Rachel Robinson. Even though I read many Judy Blume books growing up, there are some that I missed, plus listening to Judy Blume books makes me happy. My two teenage boys were in the backseat, playing or watching whatever it is that they play or watch on their phones, paying no attention to me or what I was listening to. Our so I thought.
When it came time to return home on Sunday, as we pulled away from my parent’s home my 13-year-old asked, “Can we listen to that book that you were listening to on the way down? It was good.”
“Of course we can!” I excitingly replied. “I didn’t know that you were listening.”
“I liked it. There was lots of drama.” He’s a 13-year-old in junior high. Just because he’s male doesn’t mean he doesn’t know what teenage drama is all about.
About an hour later the book was over. “That was good. Do you have another one of those we can listen to?” my son asked.
“Sorry, buddy, I don’t. But the author has lots of books you might like. Think you might like to read more of her books?”
“Yeah. Let’s look when we get home.”
Judy Blume! You did it again! You captured another child’s attention with your relatable stories and honest characters. It was so small minded of me to think that a boy wouldn’t enjoy your books just as much as girls do. Stories aren’t identified by who they are written for. Books are written for whoever wants to read them. And my son wants to read your books, is excited to read your books. My child who I describe as a reluctant reader. My child who struggles to find books that capture his attention. My child who thinks reading is boring. You did it. You made him excited to read. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. God bless you, Judy Blume.
We ended up ordering four Judy Blume books to get him started. One of the books was Then Again Maybe I Won’t. Once he finished reading, I asked him to tell me all about it since it is one that I’ve never read.
“Mom, I mean, like, this book deals with, like, real life. So, Tony, the main character, he, like, um, well, he’s, like excited, you know (he’s pointing to his crotch at this point) and then his teacher makes him go up to the board to work a math problem and he’s, like, worried and stuff…”
He went on and on about the book. For a 13-year-old boy to go on and on about anything, let alone a book, is a big deal. I smiled the whole time he spoke. “So you really liked it, huh?”
“Yeah, mom. I mean, she, like, writes about real things. She’s, like, a really good writer.”
Yes, she is, son. Yes. She. Is.