The Throwback: Yes, Judy Blume is on Twitter
July 22nd, 2011
10:34 AM ET

The Throwback: Yes, Judy Blume is on Twitter

My favorite Judy Blume tweet is undoubtedly her response to the Twitter follower who asked how Blume felt about the title of Chelsea Handler's book, "Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea."

@JudyBlume's reply: "After initial WTF, turned into CH fan!"

Handler's book title, which is currently being made into a TV show, is a nod to Blume's classic 1970 children's chapter book, "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret." Blume's Twitter bio is, aptly enough, "Are you there, Twitter? It's Me, Judy."

There is a funny recollection on Blume's blog about the book title being so long. "When I finished writing," wrote Blume, "I had no idea for a title so I took the first line in the book. If I'd known then how often I was going to have to say the title, I might just have called it 'Margaret.'"

The title itself takes up 37 characters, including spaces - precious real estate out in the Twitterverse, where the book might perhaps be referred to as "AYTG?IMM," or "RU There, OMG? It's me, Mrgrt?"

Not only does Blume, 73, tweet and blog, she's also on Facebook and regularly Skypes with schoolchildren around the world.

I still have Blume's "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing," "Superfudge," "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret," "Forever" and "Just as Long as We're Together" nearly memorized.

I was, however, slightly disheartened to learn that some of Blume's books were edited for updates - updates of the Times They Are A-Changin' kind. For example, reprints of the books in the "Fudge" series switched up the Christmas gift list of the book's character Peter: the coveted record player is replaced with an MP3 player and so forth. Little Fudge doesn't watch "The Electric Company" and "The Muppet Show" anymore - he watches Nickelodeon.

Post 2006-editions of "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" forgo mentions of belted menstrual pads (the fictional brand name, "Teenage Softies" made me laugh even as I read the book, back when I was a fourth grade nothing) for "sanitary napkins." I had no idea what the belts were - they were before my time - but I got the drift.

With Blume having embraced (and mastered!) the 140-character confines of Twitter, I find myself looking forward to the author's tweets the same way I  looked forward to her books as a kid. While she charmingly tweets about daily life (e.g. Zumba class, a favorite purple jacket), she also comes up with gems like these:

  • In response to a follower asking if she planned to write a vampire novel: "Why would anyone think I'm writing about vampires? I write realistic fiction. This one set in '50s in NJ but I swear it feels like today."
  • And Blume's Twitter tribute to her dad on Father's Day was just perfect: "Fathers Day '59. Gave my dad blue polo shirt w/pocket for his Camels. Mid July he died suddenly. He was 54. I was 21. Still miss him."

 

Maybe I'll find my old Judy Blume books and re-read them all....Then Again, Maybe I Won't.

Did you grow up reading Judy Blume's books? If so, which one was your favorite, and why?

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Filed under: Books • The Throwback

soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Avrame Yassod

    Great site. Lots of helpful information here. I’m sending it to a few friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you on your sweat!

    July 11, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. NoDoubt

    I was more into The Babysitter's Club when I was a pre-teen. Never read any Judy Blume.

    July 24, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. YMW

    I spent my younger years ready her books over and over again!! My fave will always be tales of a forth grade nothing. (at that time I too had a younger sibling and felt that there was someone who understood my life as an older sister!) I will make sure my daughter reads these books !

    July 24, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. Barb

    Love judy blume! I grew up reading her books.

    July 24, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. Michelle

    Of course it will always be...Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing

    July 24, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. Carla

    I loved everything written by Judy Blume! I would have to count "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret." as my favorite. It was like reading the diary of a girl just like me........Love Judy Blume!!! I'm so happy to hear that she is still contributing, but I hate that her books are being edited to reflect today's culture. There is something to be said about reading classic books and generating discussion about things of the past. Would we want to update "Tom Sawyer"?

    July 24, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. Susanna

    I knew I was "growing up" after reading Forever and Summer Sisters. Her books were really a great transition from childhood into adolesence.

    July 24, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  8. kathie

    Are you there God? It's me Margaret.
    'We must, we must, we must increase our bust....'

    July 24, 2011 at 3:28 am | Report abuse |
  9. shoos

    We (all the girls in our class) passed around the book 'Forever' in eighth grade, back in the day.

    July 24, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  10. Amber

    Just as Long as We're Together! Got it for Christmas from my mother. I got a kick out of the fact that my mom (unknowingly) bought me a book in which the main character called a boy the "Class A–hole". Sheltered, I was!

    July 23, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bean

    Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. I never did understand what they were "doing" with that Kreskin Crystal.

    July 23, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Black Margaret

    My favorite Judy Blume book has to be Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. I read it countless times and found it helpful in many ways. I was a pre-pubescent girl with asthma and it seemed like someone finally understood what I felt. I read all the Fudge books, too and will definitely have to get them for my sons who remind me of Peter and Fudge.

    July 23, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. chele

    Me too, air. I loved Judy Blume.Oh, and I read and re-read "Deanie," the one about the pretty girl with scoliosis.Remembering how I read that one so much makes me wish i had a copy. I might go in search of a copy soon. I love to revisit childhood favorites as the decades go by and find out what I originallysaw in them.

    July 23, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. cambria larkham

    how could i pick a favorite?! that would be like picking my favorite child! they're all my favorite. judy blume was such a huge part of my childhood/teen years, i read her books over and over till they literally fell apart. when my niece gets older (she's only 1 years old. haha) she's getting the entire line of judy blume books.

    judy blume is like a modern day jane austen.

    July 23, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dee

    Forever

    July 23, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Meghann

    /Love her. I read all of her books growing up and I buy them for my daughter. My fav was Starring Sally J. Freedmen as Herself and her adult book, Summer Sisters.

    July 23, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  17. haca

    AYTG?IMM was an eye opener for me! Loved it! Also liked the Fudge books and Blubber.

    July 23, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Love it

    Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing!! My third grade teacher read it too the class and I read it on my own so many times the book fell apart. All the Fudge books were great!

    July 23, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Missy J.

    Judy Blume is the greatest. Her books are a rite of passage and I still have all of her books that I get out to re-read from time to time. I bought my daughter the boxed set of young readers books and she still has them. I also have the set of her adult novels that I cherish as well. I love you Judy Blume!

    July 23, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Charles

    Was always a Tales of Fourth Grade Nothin and SuperFudge fan.

    July 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Janet

    I love Judy Blume. She made growing up in the 1970's a little bit easier.

    July 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  22. judy!

    I don't know if I could pick just one, but if forced I'd say, Forever. Margaret would be a close second.

    July 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  23. JB Fan

    This is so great! A group of friends recently decided to form a book club with the sole purpose of reading the books we remember from childhood that were a little too mature for our young eyes. "Forever" was the first book and we loved reading it from an adult perspective (a few of us read it as pre-teens in secret!). It was great fun discussing that topic!! Can't wait to tell the group JB is on Twitter!!

    July 23, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Kris

    I read these books growing up... they were wonderful, funny, and made me feel like she understood the pains of childhood. I think my favorite books of hers are "Are You there God, It's me, Margaret"(about puberty, crushes, and growing up) "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" and "Deenie." Though they were all great books, especially "Blubber", about an overweight child. I will follow her on Twitter.

    July 23, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Melissa

    Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing! Then Superfudge.

    July 23, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Kiki

    My daughter read "Are you there God..." about 100 times. Judy Blume never talks down to kids but instead has an uncanny ability to remember the thoughts and feelings that for most of us fade. I love all of her books and admire her relentless fight for first amendment rights.

    July 23, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Jillsy

    I am not sure I have a favorite. Never read a book (even her books for adults) that I didn't like. As a teacher, I would always introduce kids who don't like to read to one of her books and they always would finish as many as I had in the classroom, begging for more. Love Judy Blume...

    July 23, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Rebecca Savastio

    I love Judy Blume. I'm very disturbed, however, at the mention of edits. Must everything by stripped of history so it can be more convenient for today's know-nothing kids? It's really, really sad that we as a society think it's ok to tamper with literature. Let the kids figure out what a record player does, for goodness sake. Maybe they'll actually learn something.

    July 23, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  29. BT

    I have always loved Judy Blume books..I have read everyone she ever wrote multiple time. I will now be reading her tweets very cool :)

    July 23, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  30. Lisa

    Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing was always my favorite because it reminded me of my own two children. I also teach school and enjoy reading her books to my students.

    July 23, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  31. Cathy

    Judy Blume's books are timeless. I have recommended, "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret." to many, many students, and I rarely have one who doesn't love it as much as I did when I was their age.

    July 23, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  32. Shad

    "Blubber"...hands down!

    July 23, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  33. susanbellnc

    Loved her books when I was a kid. The first one I remember reading is Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing. I so want copies of all those books again, but in original form. I do NOT want updated ones.

    She also wrote adult books, which I found out as a teenager when I came across a copy of Wifey. Boy, was I surprised. :)

    July 23, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  34. ajax911

    Great post, i have also found this solution that might help Realtor to hit mobile app market http://www.website4realty.com

    July 23, 2011 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  35. Nancy

    Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself. All the way!

    July 23, 2011 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  36. jenn

    loved all her books. Are you there God? It's me, Margaret was my all time favourite. I enjoy her adult literature as well. Would love to see one more, Judy!

    July 23, 2011 at 6:17 am | Report abuse |
  37. Nadine

    Had a dysfunctional childhood. Her books saved my life! Thank you Judy Blume.

    July 23, 2011 at 4:36 am | Report abuse |
  38. OceanLight

    Americans should stop blaspheming before modern literature turns into a trash can.

    July 22, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Kim

    Loved everything she wrote...can't say I have a fav.....loved in OKA SHeila the Great they swapped out Libby listening to a CD instead of records...lol. Blubber would be interesting now in the age of cyber-bullying

    July 22, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  40. thelastbookworm

    Thanks to Judy, I learned about all the things my mother should have told me about but didn't. One of my faves was Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself. Sally's fears about Hitler resonated with me because I had my own irrational fears as a girl and Judy Blume's books always made me feel OK about the world. I am much more open with my own daughter than my mom was with me but I will still keep those books on my shelf for when she's ready to read them. You're the mom I wish I had, Judy!

    July 22, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  41. RaznCain

    I loved her book "Wifey." I was 16... it was raw, up front, and "naughty" and at that age, it was perfect. I've read a few others, but that's really the only I remember nearly 30 years later.

    July 22, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  42. ErinK

    I've read them all being a 44 year old woman, but my favorites are now the ones she writes for adults, such as Summer Sisters. Great books!

    July 22, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Dave

    The Fudge series. And Iggie's House.

    July 22, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  44. alecia

    I gave all my Judy books to my niece when she was 8 and she loved them as much as I did! She now has a 7 year old sister who loves to read and devoured her first Fudge book in 3 days and loved it! I hope they have those books to pass to their daughters.

    July 22, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  45. fran glass

    i went back and read starring sally j freedman as herself as an adult and it was even better than when i was a kid. I hope authors like judy blume exist when i have children.

    July 22, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Dana

    Very great pal, Maggie Root, gave a copy to a very small child who read Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret, and kept reading it throughout childhood, and early adult years. I very much doubt I would have given my daughter that book, but am thankful to Maggie that she did.

    July 22, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Nicole

    Starring Sally J Freedman as Herself remains my favorite Judy Blume novel. I read that book over and over until the cover had come off and the pages curled. As my parents are packing up my childhood home, I came across it and am looking forward to the day that my daughter (6) can enjoy it. I don't think Judy Blume could ever really comprehend the impact that she has had on generations of children, particularly girls.

    July 22, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Chanda

    Ah Superfudge! Peeing in the plant was priceless!

    July 22, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Jodi Olesen

    GREAT article!! I LOVE Judy Blume! I was born with a facial deformity and spent most of my childhood in the hospital having multiple surgeries. Judy's book "Are You There God, It's Me Margaret" was my FAVORITE book! I loved it so much that I wrote a letter to Judy a few years later to thank her for making me laugh during a very rough time in the hospital one Summer. Judy actually wrote a letter back to me! I still have it! LOVE JUDY BLUME! She's one AWESOME lady!

    July 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Linda

    My favorite two were Dennie and the aforementioned Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself. Loved, loved, loved Judy Blume as a teen. I am 42 now and somewhat bereft that I have two boys and no one to give Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret? to...

    July 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Tish

    I would never have gotten through my first monthly without Are You There God. My mother never talked about it, or explained it, and even though we had sx education in school, I still had no idea what was going on. It was a wonder that someone else had the same thoughts and feelings that I did. Deenie was also great – forgot about that one. Judy Blume is a national treasure!

    July 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Amy

    Starring Sally J. Friedman As Herself was the first "chapter" book I ever read and still have fond memories of it. It started me on a long path of reading (including all sorts of other Judy Blume books!)

    July 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Avram Baskin

    I didn't read any of Judy Blume's books until I had a four year old daughter (she's now seven). So far we've only read the Fudge books - all of which we both have thoroughly enjoyed. I don't know what my daughter thinks, but I think of Peter as the main character, not Fudge. Anyway, I agree with the comments about not modernizing the books. My daughter is currently reading Strawberry Hill, a book by Mary Ann Hoberman that's set during the depression. My daughter understands most of the period references, and when she doesn't understand something we ask my mother. I don't see what the big deal is in mentioning a record player or going to see Superman with your first girlfriend.

    July 22, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Jessie's Girl

    I too grew up reading Judy Blume, reading the books over and over again untill they fell apart. I do not think that you can be a girl and NOT read Judy Blume. As "J" said above Judy Blume and S.E. Hinton are classic authors and their books are "must read"!

    July 22, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Tonya P

    Loved ALL of her books. They were about the terrible childhood that I was having but also about the childhood that I wished that I was having. Her books helped this teenage girl see through the dark.

    July 22, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Sylvia R

    I loved Judy Blume and began reading her books when I was probably 10 years old. Are U There God...Margaret was the first, and will always have a special place in my heart. Forever is another favorite, along with Starring Sally J. Friedman... and Otherwise Known As Sheila the Great. I find it appalling that details of the lives of the characters have been modernized for fear that children will not understand or relate to them. I did not use the feminine protection described in ....Margaret, but I had an understanding of what HISTORY was involved. We need to keep books as they were orignally written and not coddle kids; believing they can't appreciate what things were like before they were born is absurd. But...enough of the soap box. Thank you Judy, for your heart and talent.

    July 22, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • alr

      Loved Sheila the Great! Must have read that about a thousand times growing up.

      July 22, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Melissa

    Judy Blume autographed my copy of Deenie when I was around 9 years old. I still have it somewhere. She definitely influenced a lot of my childhood. She's simply iconic.

    July 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  58. J

    Are You THere God? It's Me, Margaret was one of my all time favorite books growing up! I must have read that book 100 times...so much so, pages started falling out. I also loved Forever. Judy Blume and S.E. Hinton are classic authors for young adult readers.

    July 22, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  59. XO

    Loved her books growing up...loved her adult novels just as much! I can read Summer Sisters over and over again and never get bored w/it

    July 22, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  60. Fabio

    I enjoy reading her books while on the can

    July 22, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  61. fourthgradenothing

    Read her? I summed up my entire childhood based upon her books, even named my blog fourthgradenothing dot com!

    July 22, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |

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