Judy Blume

Celebrated young adult author Judy Blume held a special place in the hearts of countless preteen readers for her frank, honest and moving novels about real teens and their emotional issues in such memorable books as Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret (1970), Blubber (1972) and Tiger Eyes (1981). Blume's books shied away from discussing thorny subject matter like sex, religion, divorce and friendship in elliptical terms, preferring instead to speak directly to her readers about the complex feelings that arose around these topics. In doing so, Blume became not only a beloved author for young readers, but also something of a friend and parental figure to which they could turn for support when they struggled to communicate with their own families. Blume's books naturally drew fire from censors, who sought to ban them from libraries due to content, but she remained a staunch defender of her own work, as well as other authors whose stories had come under fire. In doing so, Blume became a storied figure in American fiction, one whose love and respect for her readers was matched equally by her dedication to the sanctity of the written word.