Writer’s Workshop Wednesday: Judy Blume

The author of twenty-nine books, Judy Blume, is an author who is no stranger to writing about complex subjects that young adults encounter in their everyday lives.  She surprisingly is also a member of the Banned Books Club.  Like the late Beverley Cleary, Judy Blume’s books were a library staple when I was growing up. Her stories continue to engage and entertain readers today.

Blume was 27 when she began to think of writing as a career.  After two years of rejections, she finally published her first novel, The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo, in 1969.  Other books for children and young adults include: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (1970), Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (1972), Blubber (1974), Freckle Juice (1978), Superfudge (1980), and Here’s to You, Rachel Robinson (1993).  

Blume has also written four adult-centered novels, collaborated on two short story collections, and authored three non-fiction books.  

In the 1980s, Blume’s young adult novel, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, was targeted for censorship by schools due to its openness about mensuration and religion.  The book has been on the American Library Association’s Top 100 most frequently challenged books since the 80s, ranking 60th. In 2000, the book almost made it off the list, dropping to 99th.  The latest 2010-2019 list has Are You There God? off the top 100.

Check out the latest list to see if books you’ve read are on it, HERE

Learn more about Judy Blume and her books at her OFFICIAL WEBSITE.  

Below are a few interviews with Blume as she talks about her life, her writing, and dealing with censorship.


Back in two weeks with another great author!

Writer’s Workshop Wednesday: Beverly Cleary

One of my all-time favorite authors, when I was a kid, was Beverly Cleary.  I think I read seven of the eight books in the Ramona Quimby series growing up, my favorite being Ramona and Her Mother

In her first job as a children’s librarian, Cleary saw a need for children’s books featuring characters young readers could relate to.  She once said: “I believe in that ‘missionary spirit’ among children’s librarians. Kids deserve books of literary quality, and librarians are so important in encouraging them to read and selecting books that are appropriate.”  It was this “spirit” that led her to write her first novel, Henry Huggins, which was published in 1950 and catapulted her into a career as a children’s author.

Cleary’s career spanned 49 years, with her final published work, Ramona’s World, in 1999. Cleary authored forty-two books, which have collectively sold over 91 million copies worldwide.  Her works have been the recipient of The National Book Award (Ramona and Her Mother) and the Newberry Medal (Dear Mr. Henshaw).  Cleary was honored with the National Medal of Arts and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal for her contributions to children’s literature. 

Her Ramona Quimby character has adapted to TV and film, with a TV series called Ramona produced in 1988, and a live-action movie – Ramona and Beezus – in 2010.  The Mouse and the Motorcycle had a smaller adaptation in 1986 as an ABC Weekend Special.

Sadly, Cleary passed away on March 26 of this year at the age of 104.  Below are some clips of interviews that Cleary did over the years about her writing, her writing themes, and more.

Check out the official Beverly Cleary website here!


Check back next week for another great writer!