Today in YA History: February 12, 1938 – Judy Blume born!

February 12, 1938: Beloved author Judy Blume (Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret; Blubber; Forever…) born in Elizabeth, NJ!

Judy, the second child of Esther and Ralph Sussman, “spent most of [her] childhood making up stories inside of [her] head.” She briefly attended Boston University before transferring to New York University–where she met future-husband John Blume in 1959. The couple were married while Judy was entering her junior year. She graduated from NYU in 1961 with a bachelor’s in teaching. The couple had two children, Randy Lee and Lawrence Adam, before separating in 1975.

Blume met her current husband, mystery novel author George Cooper, in Vancouver. They married in 1987 and are together to this day, living in New York City.

Her first novel, The One in the Middle Is the Green Kangaroo, was published in 1969. She began writing while her children were in pre-school and she was pursuing a teaching career of her own. In ten years, she published thirteen more books, including Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret in 1970 and Blubber in 1974. She has become a household name to young readers everywhere, especially in America. Though the subjects tackled in her novels have often been under fire or up for censorship and banning, she is especially praised by fans for “her use of real-life settings, ambivalent endings and gentle humor.”

From Wikipedia:

    [M]any of Judy Blume’s books deal with difficult issues for children, including questioning the existence of God, friendship, religion, divorce, body image, and sexuality. However, Blume has stated that she does not set out to tackle these issues when writing. She begins with a character, or sometimes a character and a situation.

From her official site:

    She is the founder and trustee of The Kids Fund, a charitable and educational foundation. She serves on the boards of the Author’s Guild; the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators; the Key West Literary Seminar; and the National Coalition Against Censorship.

Blume’s books have sold over 80 million copies and been translated into 31 languages.

Do you traverse the Twitter-sphere? Follow her @JudyBlume!

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