Letters to Judy

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Judy Blume has received many letters from teenagers concerning their experiences, problems, fears, and doubts. Most of these teenagers are crying out for help and understanding in a complex and fast-paced world. Blume routinely answers many of these letters individually, but she decided to compile some of them in a book in order to make parents more aware of the concerns of teenagers today.

The question arises--why do young people write to Judy Blume? The answer probably lies in her fiction, which tends to explore and elaborate upon teenage problems: sibling rivalry, sex, divorce, and acceptance by peer groups. Young readers can relate to the characters and feel that they are not alone in the world.

LETTERS TO JUDY is intended primarily for parents but is not meant to exclude younger readers. In many cases, Blume directly talks to the kids, especially in her chapters on divorce, popularity, and problems at school. Her approach is nonjudgmental; she examines alternative ways to resolve particular problems, and includes an excellent annotated resource guide at the end of the book.

Blume has an open and personal style which lends itself well to frank discussions on such varied topics as the facts of life, drugs, depression, foster care, violence in the home, rape, and death. She provokes a thoughtful examination of the issues. LETTERS TO JUDY provides an insightful look into the adolescent world. All royalties from the sale of this book will go to the Kids Fund, a nonprofit charitable and educational foundation.