In honor of Banned Book Week I thought I’d write a letter about an author that was integral to my late childhood/early adolescence.
Dear Ms Blume,
I would like to thank you for your contributions to the literary world. Your books were instrumental in helping me understand my life and feelings. You really understood the issues that I had to deal with in making new friends, changing into a women, dealing with boys, and making my way in a world that didn’t always make sense and was occasionally hostile just because I was a female. I remember my mother sitting me down to have the talk about my body and it’s changes and also what I could expect while dating. She started to explain and I was able to tell her that I knew because of YOUR books, because you were honest about what young girls go through. My mother seemed relieved and happy that I had found this information and that it was true to life (how much was the relief of not having to explain I’m not sure). Even reading back over your books as an adult I realize how true to life they actually are and how valuable they are to our youth. The fact that your books are consistently challenged over time proves that they need to be out there. Growing up as a female is not something that should be shrouded in secrecy. It should not be a dangerous path that girls are expected to walk on their own without guidance. The schools tell us what a period is but they don’t tell us what it really means. They don’t tell us, but we know, we know the power of being able to become pregnant, we know that the rules have changed for us in many ways. Innocent outfits can become shameful, playful flirtations can lead to name-calling and many times we don’t understand why the world seems to have turned against us. Your books helped, they taught us not to judge by looks, even though the world would judge us. They taught us not to lose who we were just because we are supposed to be “ladies”. Most importantly, they taught us how to life in the world with our heads held high and the knowledge that what we are dealing with and feeling is important and normal.
So for that I say, Thank you.