The Collected Wisdom of Judy Blume


Today is a holiday you may not have heard of yet — but if you grew up reading, you’ll probably want to celebrate it. It’s Blumesday, a riff on yesterday’s longstanding tribute to James Joyce and Ulysses, but meant to celebrate everyone’s favorite writer of books for young readers, Judy Blume. As holiday creators (what a title) Joanna Miller and Heather Larimer explain, “We realized that there is a whole community around this writer that feels just as impassioned about her work as people feel about the work of James Joyce,” and thus Judy Blumesday was born. To mark the date, and to provide for the Judy Blume toast you should definitely be giving tonight, Flavorwire has collected some of Blume’s essential wisdom on reading, writing, and living.

“Whatever gets [students] excited about reading is good! If you want them to read my books don’t tell them so. Maybe just leave around a paperback with a new cover and say, ‘I’m not sure you’re ready for that.'” — Reddit AMA, 2013

“Fear is often disguised as moral outrage.” — “Judy Blume Talks About Censorship.”

“Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won’t have as much censorship because we won’t have as much fear.” As quoted in Good Advice by William Safire.

“Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.” — Tiger Eyes

“My only advice is to stay aware, listen carefully and yell for help if you need it. Somehow, with common sense and humor most of us manage to muddle through.” From “Tales of a Mother/Confessor

“Determination and hard work are as important as talent… Don’t let anyone discourage you! Yes, rejection and criticism hurt. Get used to it… There is no writer who hasn’t suffered.” From “Rejection

“Not everything has to have a point. Some things just are.” — Summer Sisters

“One thing I worry about kids today is, do they have the time to just sit and dream and think — or is somebody always saying to them, ‘What are you doing? You can’t just sit there.’ I just want kids to be able to make up stories and have their fantasies and have the time to think.” From an interview with HuffPostLive.

“I could say I can’t stand the shows for kids. But here I am working on some based on my books. I don’t think it’s realistic to say kids shouldn’t watch any TV. I just wish the shows would be better. And that kids would watch less. Get out there and do things, kids! Don’t become couch potatoes!” From an interview with Scholastic.

“Hate and war are bad words, but fuck isn’t.” — Forever

On censorship: “It’s not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.” As quoted in Literature for Today’s Young Adults by Kenneth L. Donelson and Alleen Pace Nilsen.

“Believe in yourself and you can achieve greatness in your life.”