Saturday, February 15, 2014


Written by: Judy Blume

First line: My mother named me Deenie because right before I was born she saw a movie about a beautiful girl named Wilmadeene, who everybody called Deenie for short.

Why you should read this book: Another teenage novel that still scans perfectly after forty years on the shelf, it's the story of a seventh grade girl with a beautiful face and an unrealistic mother who is obsessed with her face and determined that Deenie's destiny is in modeling. Through this device, the story's real center is revealed: Deenie can't model as a teen because scoliosis is affecting her posture, and instead, she is doomed to spend the next four years in a rigid and obvious back brace, which, she is certain, makes her look like a complete freak. Deenie, and her mother, and her friends, and the eight grade boy who wants to make out with her, all have to learn to deal with the temporary inconvenience of the brace, and the permanent emergence of Deenie as a young woman who must choose to think for herself.

Why you shouldn't read this book: This book has been the focus of multiple censorship challenges due to its frank discussion of female masturbation, including that assertion that "It's normal and harmless to masturbate." Which it is. But some people have a strange idea that it's not, and those people, who doubtless live grim and cheerless lives, may have trouble digesting the rest of the story.

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