“I remember thinking I’m going to be honest. I’m going to tell the truth.”

By Rebecca Angel Baer
September 15, 2020
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For the past fifty years, the iconic coming of age novel, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume has been a trusted source and friend to girls around the world as they approach that awkward and confusing phase of life—adolescence. Blume recently reflected on this milestone in a post on the website for her Key West bookstore, Books & Books @ The Studios of Key West. She recalls sitting down in her New Jersey home, where she lived then, mom to two young children, and her first two books accepted for publication. She pulled out her “college typewriter,” to write the tale of 12-year-old Margaret. “I knew next to nothing about writing. But I knew a lot about being in sixth grade. Or thought I did. My memory for the details of life at 12 was so fresh. And I knew what I didn’t want to write. I didn’t want to follow the rules and regulations for writing a children’s book. I remember thinking I’m going to be honest. I’m going to tell the truth. Well, my truth anyway,” she shared.

The beloved author joined Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager earlier today to celebrate the monumental anniversary of this publication. Just before they welcomed Blume virtually into the studio via live video feed from her Key West home, they shared video messages from some of her many fans. One remarked, “From preteen to teenager to adult, you will read Judy Blume your entire life.”

“I felt like you were telling us the truth, but you were whispering, ‘this is what’s to come. You are not alone. And you do not need to be perfect’” Bush Hager told Blume, a sentiment with which any who’ve read this novel or many of her other books would agree. Blume replied that she has wonderful fans and their love of Margaret and her other work, “it’s kept me going.” Adding, “it’s something that you never imagine. When you write the fantasy is oh maybe some day I’ll be published. And then you think maybe someday someone will actually read one of my books. Maybe I’ll hear from somebody who reads one of my books. But what’s happened here is like nothing that I could have fantasized… I never would have thought of it,” Blume said.

You can watch the segment here.

What is your favorite Judy Blume book? There are just so many to choose from it would be so hard to pick just one!