Wednesday, 12 February 2014

meeting Ralph (really?! You'd call it Ralph?!)

I'm sure every generation has a book which causes a stir.  One that is passed from hand to hand, preferably in a brown paper cover.  One that is so much talked about in the playground or youth club that everyone knows the important bits of the storyline before even reading the book.

Picture from the East Anglian Daily Times
I guess the most recent one is 50 Shades of Grey.  A book read by millions, and known about by millions more.  This risque tale so inspired us all that an ironmongers in Saxmundham (Suffolk) put this sign in their window (and got in the papers for it).

My Mum was lucky enough to have what she called 'a mucky book' which had actually been banned.  She was in her late teens when she and her friends would pass a copy around in the toilets of the youth club.  The book in question?  Lady Chatterley's Lover.  Not banned any more, thank heavens, so we got the delight of Sean Bean as Mellors in 1993.

When I was at school there was nothing quite so racy as 50 Shades.  Instead we got Judy Blume's Forever.  Do you remember Ralph?

Judy Blume is 76 today (12th February 2014).  She's a prolific and award winning author of books for children and young people, and she's got an infectious wide smile.

She is a fantastic read to learn about periods (Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret), about bullying (eg Blubber), and about first sexual encounters (Forever).  Generally she was one of few authors who would tell it like it was.

Forever perhaps gained it's playground cachet not for it's raunchiness (it really is not raunchy), but rather because it was talking to us.  We recognised ourselves in it.  Judy Blume was once again willing to be the first person to talk to us properly about something.

Judy Blume.  Pic taken from Wikipedia here
So what about you?  What was the book when you were at school?  I wonder if there is there still a book now?  

Oh and Happy Birthday to Judy Blume.  Many thanks for all the great stories.  Which was your favourite?

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