Fix: documentaries, Judy Blume, middles grades, early YA, banned books
Platforms: Amazon Prime
Judy Blume Forever documents the life and legacy of trailblazing author Judy Blume. Known for her radical honesty, Judy Blume’s books revolutionized the way millions of readers understood themselves, their adolescence, and their sexuality. Her fearless mission to openly discuss taboo subjects paved the way to real debate and conversation around book banning, censorship, and teen sexual discovery.
It was the Summer of 1969. Woodstock, the Stonewall riots, Chappaquiddick, the Manson Family murders, Neil Armstrong walks on the moon, and Judy Blume changed kids’ lit forever when she wrote about a girl exploring puberty and her relationship with God in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.
Delving into Judy’s upbringing in suburban New Jersey, her marriages, motherhood, how she’s still best friends with her childhood besties, and how writing finally gave her independence. She also speaks honestly about grief, sexuality, and anxiety, especially as it relates to children.
(L-R) Judy Blume, Molly Ringwald, and Lena Dunham
Interviews with Samantha Bee, Gossip Girl author, Cecily von Ziegesar, Pen15 creator, Anna Konkle, Jason Reynolds, as well as some of the women who have been exchanging incredibly heartfelt and personal letters with Judy since their childhoods, do an excellent job of capturing the range of her impact.
Couch-Sharing Capability: Just As Long As We’re Together
This is perfect for sharing with your Summer Sisters and best friends that have fond memories of graduating from the Fudge books to uncovering life’s mysteries with Margaret and celebrating all of the awkwardness of first times with Katherine and Michael (how did teens learn anything before Forever?), and even the one about unhappy marriages that we really weren’t allowed to read. This doc will nostalgically remind you of all the important milestones readers associate with Judy Blume, right before she radicalizes you on the patriarchy and book banning.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: The Again, Maybe I Won’t
Watching grown women cry when they meet Judy Blume is extremely relatable. I once met her at a book signing and hardly spoke to her at all in order to hold it together. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to cry into my cocktails, so I abstained. And okay, so I also had this niggling thought that in order to live to be a babe at 83, Judy Blume probably ascribes to the Dolly Parton teetotaler beauty regimen.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Forever
If you’re like me, you might have tried some buzzy new streaming series that made you even tenser than a day of being on Twitter while it slowly capsizes like it’s been hit by a billionaire iceberg. What could be more relaxing than reliving the early days of YA and celebrating the fact that the legend, Judy Blume, still walks among us? Afterward, I think we’ll all need to plan our pilgrimage to Books & Books in Key West to buy some banned books from Judy Blume, and while we’re there, we should totally check out their Cooking With Weed display.