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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dear Judy Blume, I didn't know you wrote soft porn

We have talk before on this blog about, dare I say it, censorship. I have shared before my disapproval of the book Al Capone Does My Shirts. Many of you disagreed with me, saying no matter the content (that book implies a relationship between a convict and an autistic child) that restricting it would only make it more popular.

I felt, and continue to feel, that it is not appropriate for 4th graders.

I shared with you my utter dislike of for Alexander and his wind up friend.

Today we are going to talk about Judy Blume and her 1975 sex manual entitled Forever. This is a young adult fiction book in which Judy describes in great detail the first sexual encounters of Katherine and a boy name Michael, whom she believes is her forever.

The book is very dated. There are no cell phones. The siblings actually like each other. Most of the parents are married to each other. Katherine's parents spend evenings together making hook and latch rugs that apparently their daughter will have wild sex on later.

The book is graphic and contains very adult concepts including abortion, teen suicide teen pregnancy and birth control.

The opening paragraph:

Sybil Davison has a genius I.Q. and has been laid by at least six different guys. She told me herself, the last time she was visiting her cousin, Erica, who is my good friend. Erica says this is because of Sybil's fat problem and her need to feel loved--the getting laid part that is.

I read the entire book and I personally found the dialogue to be choppy and brisk. I found the likelihood that Katherine would be allowed to spend a weekend with her boyfriend and his sister unbelievable. I found the likelihood that they were always having sex in someone's bed, whether it was his, his sister, or hers unrealistic.

I found the fact that her parents would just go to bed and leave the two jack rabbits alone unlikely.

At one point Michael teaches Katherine how to give him a hand job.

When I kissed his face it was all sweaty and his eyes were half closed. He took my hand and led it back to Ralph (the name he gave his penis), showing me how to hold him, moving my hand up and down according to his rhythm. Soon Michael moaned and I felt him come--a pulsating feeling, a throbbing, like the books said--then wetness.

The above passage is PG compared to some other more R rated scenes.

This time Michael made it last much, much longer and I got so carried away I grabbed his backside with both my hands, trying to push him deeper and deeper into me--and I spread my legs as far apart as I could--and I raised my hips off the bed--and moved with him again and again--and at last, I came.

I will spare you anymore details including the passage in which Katherine decides to climb on top. This book, as you can tell, is exceptionally graphic and when I checked it out of the library I was floored when my ten year old daughter told me her friend read it.

"Did she like it?" I asked, out of curiosity.

"Not sure," she said, "Why? What's it about?"

"It has a lot of sex in it," I said, a topic I have talked to my daughters about.

"Ewww," she said, "I don't like that word." She picked up the book and read the back. "Did you like the book?"

"Not really," I replied honestly.

Not really at all.

In conclusion, I am not sure I'd want my middle schooler reading this book let alone my fifth grader.

The funny thing is if I saw either of my girls holding a Judy Blume book I probably wouldn't even flinch.

So where are you, Judy? It's me, Mommy and I want you to explain the word "laid" to my 10 year old...

4 random thoughts:

TortugaRachel said...

I once read a Judy Blume book that was about a disgruntled housewife that cheated on her husband with his friend (her friend's hubby) at a party in which they were all in attendance. It was, yeah, not quite what I had expected from her.

becca said...

ow i didn't think Judy wrote anything but children novels good to know I need to be careful when picking up one of her books

Jenners said...

This was a big deal with I was your daughter's age and I read it about then too. I thought it was very scandalous (and apparently I was right). My mom found it and read it. I thought I was in big trouble but she wasn't upset and asked me if I had any questions. I did. My question: "What is "coming?" Oh the agony she must have had to answer that!!!

Kristie Maynard said...

I have never read Judy Blume and neither did my daughter. Okay, maybe she can read that now that she is 22, but as a 5th grader or even middle school, I'm sure glad she didn't have that one in her bookcase. All I can say is WOW! I will be posting a link for my friends on facebook to his post, I have a lot of friends with kids that age and I'm sure they would be interested in this write up.
Thanks for sharing this!

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I'm a 41 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some meant some comments.
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