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When you were writing Chapter 19 of Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret, had you recently been reading, or reading about, Charlotte Brontë and her novel Villette? Or were you, perhaps, thinking about Brontë and the autobiographical incident in Villette of Lucy Snowe, the Protestant English ex-pat in Belgium who went to confession in a moment of intense inner turmoil when you put Margaret’s ‘Project Belgium’ together with her similar entrance into the mysterious confessional booth? Was this a playful and creative allusion for other Brontë enthusiasts to pick up on? Apologies if you’ve fielded this question many times before, but I’m just now getting up to speed on your work.
I was born in 1962 but never read Are you there God? until yesterday. When it was first published in 1970, I had recently moved with my family from Olympia Fields, IL to Westport, CT and was soon (unbeknownst to me) about to be moving again to a suburb of LA. I was aware that other girls my age were reading it and whispering about how it actually contains the word ‘menstruation’. But, because I was experiencing menstruation as a lonely nightmare (beginning shortly after I turned nine), it was the last topic I wanted to confront in fiction, where I sought escape from rather than merciless reminders of myself. It has taken me this long to overcome that aversion, and I’m glad I finally have. It’s a wonderful book. Although I was more of a Laura Danker in some respects, I was definitely a Margaret on the religion front. Not because my parents had different backgrounds (they were both post-Protestant), but simply because I grew up in a religious vacuum and had to learn from my friends that I wasn’t Jewish and that I wasn’t Catholic, which left me with no idea how to make the God I somehow presupposed feel present. I wound up with a PhD in History of Religions and am still asking, Are you there God?
Anyway, what I’d really like to know is whether and in what ways the Brontës may have informed your life and writing. If they have, have you ever written or spoken about the Brontës? I’d be very interested to read anything you have had to say about them.
Krista Ovist (US expat in London and Brontë Society member)
I’ve been a fan forever!! The first book I read was tales of a Firth grade nothing!! Loved it so much, it meant so much to me I wanted to live in Peters world too.I been looking for more books for my nieces, one is in forth grade and has boys doing what boys do tease.i going to get her your books to enjoy and I just wanted to say thank you so much for the entertainment.
I adore you Judy. I just finished reading ‘Starring Sally J. Freeman as Herself’ to my 7-year-old daughter. I read it when I was a kid. I have also read her all the Fudge books. Your writing is able to capture the feelings of my daughter (and my own) in a way that is just amazing. I hope to meet you someday. Thank you for all you do!
Thanks for writing Are You There God It's Me Margret. It really helped
Hi Judy. I am a grade 3 / 4 teacher in Cache Creek BC. It has been a rather difficult couple of years for our community as we have had a major flood and then fire that caused our community to be evacuated as well as some of our families to loose their homes. I remember being uplifted by Superfudge as a child and I thought that I would teach it this year as a a way to lighten the mood at our school. It worked. You now have about twenty new die-hard Superfudge fans. More importantly they are an extremely creative bunch. We are currently in the process of writing to you after having completed our unit. I showed the clip of your master class to the kids and many of them were quite inspired. A few of them even suggested that we write our own book as a class. The more I think about it the more I think it might be a great idea. So... my question is would you help us. I'm thinking that perhaps I can get our principal to purchase the series of lessons from your website but having regualr feedback from you throughout our process would be absolutely life changing for these kids. I know you are busy but I also know you love kids. Let me know.
Hi just wondering if you could email me back I am doing a thing at school to email your favorite book author telling them why you love their books.
HI JUDY BLUME OR WHOEVER IS READING THIS, COULD YOU PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE MAKE ANOTHER FUDGE BOOK I HAVE READ ALL OF THEM AND ARE MY FAVORITE SERIES. pls write back
Dear Judy, "Are you there, God? It's me, Margaret" was a lifeline to me growing up. My single-parent mom never spoke to me about things such as your book did. Will you please tell me why one version has 149 pages and another 160? Also, I'm thinking about spending my entire savings to purchase an original 1970, 1st edition of the book and it supposedly has your signature on it, but I've no way to verify it. I wish I could include an attachment here to show you a photo of what's supposed to be your signature. I had a 1970 copy when I was younger, but I literally wore the pages out reading it. Can't tell you what this book STILL means to me (I'm 50 now) and the thought of having your signature on it just means so much....almost puts tears in my eyes just thinking of it. I saw your FB page, but there's no way to message you or post the photo. As I said, it would take my entire savings (it's being sold for $2,000), but I can't even begin to put into words what it would mean to me to have it. Is there any way I can show you the photo? I wouldn't know how else to authenticate it. Thank you for calming some of my concerns through this book when I was so very young and so very alone. I didn't have a lot of friends because we were very poor, and I had even less family. I was so relieved to learn that I wasn't the only little girl thinking and feeling the way I did. God bless you for the work you do!
I love your books and I really wanted some advice. I am turning 13 in a matter of days and am currently in the 8th grade. I love to write, but my family doesn't really appreciate my writing. I have so many ideas and things I want to write and I was hoping that an amazing author as yourself wouldn't mind giving me any pointers on how to begin writing and really express my writing skills.
Do you write or refer books on eating disorders: anorexia? for a 13yr old?
Your blog was the inspiration I needed today. Reading it helped me tap into a honest place for today's writing.
Greetings from Jonesboro, Arkansas. I am a third grade teacher and my class is currently reading Freckle Juice. We visited your website before we started the book. Your website is very inspiring to young readers and writers. I have written three children’s books and currently trying to figure out how to self-publish, or if I want to try and sent it to an actual publisher. My students are so excited about this, and when I showed them the “on writing” link on your website they really got excited. Thank you for being an amazing author.
Dear Judy Blume,
our Englisch teacher gave us the homework to find out some intressting facts about you. I´m on your homepage for 4 hours and I´ve to say:" It´s fantastic!!!" I´m going to the my whole class from thes great homepage. I love your book, they are incredible to read!
Best wishes to you and your family.
I LOVE U
Laura A Klein
Ms. Blume, I've just finished reading "Are you there God, It's me Margaret" for the very first time today. (I'm reading banned books this year) I wish I had defied my mother when I was twelve in 1972 when she took it back to the library. I wasn't sure at that time why I wasn't allowed to read it but I'm guessing it was the whole questioning of God's existence, and her blatant racism over and above your frank and sensitive discussion of menarche. Thank you for writing this tender story which has helped and soothed three generations of girls as they grow to be young women.
I am in hospital and the only thing i am doing is reading fudge a mania.and i love it but i am still feeling sick alot but i had a operation on wedsnday night.
I am a life-long fan of your writing. My mother gave me “Are you there god? It’s me, Margaret.” as a girl.
Now that Margaret and I have grown up, I’m wondering if you have considered a sequel... “Are you still there god? It’s me, Margaret.” (A book about menopause and later life issues.
Dear Judy Blume,
I'm love to read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. I wondering if you have a little brother like Fudge and he was really annoying? Do you want to have alittle pet turtle like Dribble?
I hope you can answer my questions
Mrs. Redden's 2nd grade RTI Class
Dear Judy Blume,
We read Freckle juice in our RTI class. It was awesome! It was funny because Andrew drank the freckle juice. It was so good we liked it. You are a fantastic author! Thank you for writing Freckle Juice.
Mrs. Redden's RTI Class
I am a student at Livingston High School in California. As a child I read and enjoyed your books. I still remember laughing, while reading the books. In my AP Literature class, I was assigned to find a successful children's book author, who would have a interview over video chat with my class. During this video chat session, the students will ask questions about constructing a children's book. The video chat will help the students construct their own children's book. The book will be a christmas gift for a child, who we have interviewed, so that the book caters to their personality. I was wondering if you will be available to schedule a video chat session.
I teach at the military base and many of the kids parents are deployed overseas for various reasons. How would our school go about trying to get you to come and talk with the kids and have a meet and greet? Thank you for your time and work!!!
Mrs. Ziegler's 3rd grade class
We are your BIGGEST FANS (well, and Fudge's biggest fans!). We LOVE your Fudge, or shall we say Egduf, books. Everyday you start our afternoon with laughs, love, and goofy connections. We all go home thinking and talking about all of Fudge's shenanigans (i.e. eat it or wear it! secret code names, money money money). Without taking all your time, we HAD to share a suggestion for your next FUDGE book! We were thinking the story line could be something like this....
15 years from your last publication of Fudge (2002), Peter is now a dad (married to Izzy?) and has his own child, a DAUGHTER, starting Kindergarten. Her name could be Taffy, because she always gets in "sticky" situations. Fudge is now attending college to become a teacher (Future Mr. Ratface?). He is currently student teaching in his niece's class (Peter's daughter). Our idea is that Taffy would be as fun, wild, and sweet as Fudge.
We hope this email finds you in your happy moments of book-brainstorming. Thank you for inspiring us to LOVE reading in a whole new way!
Mrs. Ziegler's 3rd grade class
I have just watched a video on you tube. I must say I am impressed by your open attitude to subjects that in 2017 are still considered taboo. Many years ago I read one of your books about all the things that no one is supposed to discuss. I cannot recall the title, but I have been extremely interested in you ever since.
Fran Mier (Bristol UK)
Hi i'm a senior in high school and for our final English project i'm writing a book of short stories. For this project our teacher had asked us to interview someone that relates to our project. Growing up i remember reading your books like Tales of an Fourth Grade Nothing, and Superfudge. Those were the books that got me into writing in the first place. So I ask if it would be OK to do an email interview to get some insight on how i can create the best stories possible.
Thank you for your time.
Have loved all of your books. Used them when I taught. As a Jersey girl,I enjoyed UNLIKELY EVENT, but was surprised that you didn't know that the NY Yankees wouldn't have played the NYGiants in football.(Part One). The Yanks play baseball. Usually, your editors catch that stuff. Minor issue--but you usually get it right.
Otherwise, your novel was compelling. You are great.
Dear Judy Blume,
Hi! I'm a fan of your books, i've been a fan since I was 8 and a half. So it's been a year that I have been reading your books. My parents used to read me the Fudge and Peter stories and now I read them on my own on my kindle. I have read all of the Peter and Fudge books and me favorite one is Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing! Thanks for these entertaining books!
Your Biggest Fan,
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
In the book Sheila the Great does she ever visit mouse in tarry town or does Bobby ever get her.
I am an elementary education major at Truman State University and I am currently taking a YA controversial literature class. For my class I am creating a podcast over your book "Are You There God? It's Me Margaret." I would love a sound bite from you regarding either this book or the topic of censorship to use in my podcast!
Thank you in advance and I look forward to hearing from you.
Hi. My name is Tyler and I'm a huge fan of your books. I have been reading them since I was in the 1st grade, starting with your most infamous novel, "Tales Of a 4th Grade Nothing." I'm currently re-reading the series, and since I'm entering the 4th grade I thought I would also read some of your other books.
Some of the books I'll most likely catch myself reading are "Otherwise Known as Shiela the great" , "Tiger Eyes" , and "Blubber."
Thank you so much for being such a huge part of my life if your reading this.
Hi Judy. Check out the link below. My niece made woolen mittens in your honor. https://www.etsy.com/listing/548525400/fuschia-felted-wool-mittens-judy-blume
In superfudge,did you go through the stress after having a baby too like Mrs. Hatcher? If you did, did your family help you when you were stressed or did you wish they did help you? Thank You!
Dear Judy Blume,
I am 10 and I am in 4th grade. I love your book. I love Fudge In Tales of a 4th grade nothing. In your book tales of a 4th grade nothing on page 101 there is a punctuation error. there is a comma instead of a period. My favorite part of tales of a 4th grade nothing is when Peter calls Fudge Fang because he looked like a vampire.
I just wanted to thank you for getting me through the awful summer of 1983. My family had just separated, we had lost our house to foreclosure and our pets....we could not take them with us. They went to a local shelter, and my mom, my brothers, and I went from San Diego to the Florida panhandle to live with my grandmother. It was so hot!!!! We missed our dad, our pets, and our house terribly, and my granny wand not a nice little old lady. Your books got me through that terrible summer. I read them - all of them (except Forver) over and over again. Thank you. Thank you.
Dear Judy Blume, l am so happy to be reading your books I hope other young readers start reading your books like I did. It all started in 9/20/17 I was finding a book to read for class and I spotted your book Sheila the great it was the first Judy Blume book I ever read and I remembered that my mom as a child loved yours books so I decided all try it and thats is how it all started.
Greetings Judy Blume, I am so grateful/thankful for my youth in reading all your books. This gave me a love for writing a story, but a story related to research and investigation. I am now, so many years later, an operations dir./grant writer for violence prevention programs in San Francisco. My organization works with K-8 youth, so many young girls. I have had the pleasure of passing on your books that gave me so much as a young girl, to our girls. It has been such a joy to watch them read, laugh, cry, and connect with a book that transcends time. Thank you so much for your amazing contribution to youth literature! Carolyn email@example.com
Is there any chance that Judy will be coming to Guatemala? It would be fabulous to have her visit our bilingual school during July for Language Arts month.
Hello! Just wanted to let you know that a purchased a set of your books to give away as individual prizes in our TD Summer Reading Club this past summer. So many kids came back and told be they enjoyed your books very much. Ramona Quimby was a number favorite with one little girl! Thanks for writing!
dear Judy I LOVE your books
Your friend Mikey
P.S. I just finished reading Double Fudge.
Robin Joyce Miller
Dear Judy Blume, I am a retired African American NYC teacher. I just want you to know how much I enjoyed your book, "Iggie's House". I used it to discuss race. We had so many wonderful and thoughtful talks in the classroom. Unfortunately, not many people seem to be familiar with this excellent book. Peace and Racial Harmony has and continues to be a theme for my art, poetry and public speaking engagements. Thank you for your many contributions to young people and adults as well.
hi Judy Blume!
my name is lynaya and i go through the same thing you and the characters in your books went through. life is hard for me, at this age. some tings i can improve on, but others, i cannot. for starters, i have short-term memory. i love to play volleyball and on Saturday, i have a home Tourney. i do very great in volleyball, and i am very good at drawing, for instance, i drew my two cats, as well as a farm in front of the sunrise. friends can be best friends one day and then the next, they just go straight to bullying you. But sometimes, i can take what they throw at me, but other times, i can't. Just like what Stephanie, Rachel and Alison go through, it's hard to fit into a group of three. Plus also Middle School is tough, but not to me!!! i love Math, Art and ELA. i recently lost a teacher in September, but i am recovering from that. but thank you so much for taking time to write back to me (If you do have the time). i love you!!!!!!!!!!
Dear Mrs. Blume,
Hi! I am a librarian and an educator. I like you, and I think you represent such an interesting personality, for a writer, especially! Actually, I spoke with you when you skyped Longwood University's Children's book event! If I could be so bold and nosy, can you explain to me the story of your faith? In other words, what is it, and what do you believe?
Thank you kindly and take care!
Hi again I just like to tell you a little about my self. I have two brother's and a dog. My birthday is April 26. That's a little about my self.
Hi I love your Fudge series.You are my favorite auther.
Thanks for being such a great author to me! I love the books about Fudge and his brother. Please keep writing!!
My class has been reading tales of a fourth grade nothing and we are now reading super Fudge! Thanks for the awesome books! I'm now inspired to write my own!
~Your fan, Erin
Thank you for taking your time and putting soo much thought into your books.I am amazed at how many books you have written. I hope you continue to making great books.
Dear Judy Blume, Hi! I am Grace. It's me again. I hope you can remember me.I love your books. When are you going to write a new one. Anyway, do you have WeChat? I really want to chat with you.
Your biggest fan,
Reading your books as a young girl always brought me joy. I was afraid to grow up because I would run out of your books to read. Now I've been married for 5 years, and found Wifey for the first time today. I've finished the book and wanted to say thank you. Thank you for publishing and "adult" book so I could still enjoy your writing, even as a grown up.
Hi Judy, You probably don't remember me, I was a summer student in Tom's group at LANL in 1978. I was wondering whatever happened to Tom, can't find him by googling. Has he died? Just curious, thought I would get in touch with him if I could. I just retired from Penn State, had a great career as a physicist, now living in England half of the time. Long story. You have meant a lot to me, meeting you impressed my mother like nothing else I ever did. All best wishes, Renee
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