“We must, we must, we must increase our bust.”
“We must, we must, we must increase our bust.”

Say it with me now, “Are you there God? It’s me Margaret” by Judy Blume.

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I read this book when I was nine years old, the same summer Barbara B. and I were scandalized by seeing Luke rape Laura in the disco on General Hospital – only later to have her fall in love with him – an utterly irresponsible move on the part of whomever was churning out that soap opera, but I digress.

Judy Blume put me inside the head of Margaret and helped me pre-live all that I was anxious about having to go through. Margaret came first, then Deenie, and Blubber. We worked our way through every Judy Blume book we could get our hands on until eventually we found it–the Holy Grail of teen fiction: Forever. Forever came with us on the Girl Scout camping trips, select passages read by flashlight. I liked to boast that I had read the whole book, not just the racy scenes.

When my niece was born, I waited patiently for her to hit the age markers when I could introduce Barbie dolls, The Wizard of Oz, and finally Judy Blume. Sam enjoyed all of these delights with appropriate doses of appreciation doled my way, but the real gift came when she began introducing her discoveries to me. There’s a lovely book called The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen that’s so well written I don’t have to consider my adoration of teen fiction a guilty pleasure any longer.

Ruth, 37, Los Angeles, USA

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