Judy Blume spent her childhood in Elizabeth, New Jersey, making up stories inside her head. She has spent her adult years in many places doing the same thing, only now she writes her stories on paper. Adults, as well as children, will recognize her book titles Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret; Blubber; Just as Long as We’re Together, and the five book series about the irrepressible Fudge, beginning with Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Judy has also written novels for adults that include Wifey, Smart Women, Summer Sisters, and her most recent, In the Unlikely Event, all of them New York Times bestsellers.
Together her books have sold more than 85 million copies in 32 languages and have been a touchstone for countless young readers, many of whom have been inspired, as grownups, to write their own books. Judy’s knowing voice and honesty come with a price: the American Library Association has consistently placed Blume at or near the top of its list of authors most frequently banned. In turn, she has championed intellectual freedom by working diligently with the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) to support teachers and librarians who fight to keep challenged books on their shelves. In 2009 the NCAC honored and paid tribute to Blume’s longstanding defense of free speech and her courageous battles against all kinds of censorship.
Blume was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 2004 and the Library of Congress’ Living Legends award in 2000. Judy is also the recipient of the 2017 E. B White Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as the 2018 Carl Sandburg Literary Award from the Chicago Public Library Foundation.
She serves on the boards of the National Coalition Against Censorship and the Key West Literary Seminar. Additionally, she is an advisory member of the boards for both the Authors Guild and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Recently Blume and her husband, George Cooper, longing for a bookstore where they live in Key West, Florida, founded the independent nonprofit Books & Books @ The Studios of Key West. These days Blume can be found working several days a week at the store. “After fifty years of writing, I’m enjoying meeting so many readers and introducing them to some of my favorite authors.”
In the Unlikely Event (2015)
Summer Sisters (1998)
Smart Women (1983)
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Judy Blume’s website
“Blume Knows All Your Secrets,” the New York Times Magazine, May 18, 2015
“Blume: ‘I thought, this is America: we don’t ban books. But then we did,'” the Guardian, July 11, 2014
“Blume’s Magnificent Girls,” the New Yorker, March 22, 2012
Video: Blume and Chelsea Handler at the 2020 MAKERS Conference