Chapter 6: Judy Blume on bouncing balls, biting breasts, and building bookstores

 Me and the wonderful Judy Blume when she was giving me a tour of her bookstore in Key West. 

Me and the wonderful Judy Blume when she was giving me a tour of her bookstore in Key West. 

Did you grow up with Judy Blume?

My mom says I “found my voice” reading Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing to my sister in the bathtub when I was a little kid. Well, I grabbed that tattered copy and carried it with me down to Key West, Florida where I had the extreme privilege of sitting down with the one and only Judy Blume (@JudyBlume).

Join us as Judy shares her three most formative books, how they inspired her, and we pull out some themes relevant to today.

 

 Our podcast set-up ... can you spot Judy at the cash?

Our podcast set-up ... can you spot Judy at the cash?

 

Judy and I met on a hot and sweaty day in her Books & Books bookstore … where she works! I’m not joking. Step off your cruise ship and Judy Blume will ring up a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey if you like. We grabbed a little circle table, set it up in front of the bestseller wall you see behind us, and then talked about her most formative books.

(As a special bonus, near the end of the chat we get up out of our seats and Judy gives us a walking tour of her store!)

In this chapter, Judy and I discuss censorship, why sexy scenes should be kept in books, how to get kids to love reading, the role of bookstores in a community, and a surprise reveal on which book Judy says is the only one she has left to write... 

 My old, tattered copy of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing I read as a young child

My old, tattered copy of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing I read as a young child

 Judy signing said old, tattered copy

Judy signing said old, tattered copy

 

Listen to Chapter 6:

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What You'll Learn:

  • What is one of the greatest gifts parents can give their children?
  • How can a writer create a world that readers can easily fall into with relatable characters?
  • How does Judy free her mind in order to come up with incredibly imaginative stories?
  • What book could Judy not put down in her 20s?
  • Why does Judy prefer not to reread books?
  • How do you recommend the right books to encourage children to love reading?
  • Why aren't there sex scenes in books anymore?
  • What do Judy and Neil disagree on?
  • What's the first thing Judy does once her books are published?
  • What's the only book Judy has left to write?
  • What book did Judy steal... and why?
  • What was Judy's household policy on reading censorship?

Ideas Worth TWEETING:

"I love to sniff books, I still sniff books. Whenever a book of mine is published, I sniff it first. It's like a ripe blankie." @JudyBlume #3bookspodcast

"It’s while you’re doing something else – walking, riding a bike … that your mind is free to roam and that’s when I’ve always been able to solve the problems of writing the story." @JudyBlume #3bookspodcast

"The best gift that my parents gave to me was the message that ‘reading is a great thing’ and the freedom to choose my own books. There was no censorship in my house." @JudyBlume #3bookspodcast

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