She Reads

Yesterday, while driving for errands, I had the radio station turned to NPR. The famous author Judy Blume was being interviewed. She no longer writes, but the interviewer discussed her books and writing life. In fact, a movie has just been released regarding her first popular book, are you there god, it’s me Margaret. The subject matter? The story is about Margaret being upset her period hasn’t started while others her age have. Blume’s books have been definitely controversial as she writes of situations youth face while growing up. She has even received death threats. That never stopped her. Not to be OCD on banned books (or maybe I am), she has clearly written an unbelievable and relevant number of beloved books for youth. She has won more than ninety awards and none more important than those coming directly from her youngest readers. She was also honored with the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement.

I bring up Judy Blume and her books because first, I’m looking forward to the movie. I regret I’ve read very few of her books. I’m not sure why. Guess I was busy being a mom. However, I plan on reading more.

Secondly, my thirteen-year-old granddaughter, an age Blume addresses in her books , has recently been invaded by the reading “bug.” I need to ask her if she’s read Blume’s books and truly love watching her curl up into a chair with her her newest book, her legs tucked under her, closing all out as she enters into the world of her next read. 

A few days ago, I picked her up from school and was a few minutes late. She was easy to locate sitting on the school’s front steps, her head bent over a book as she devoured another mystery. She didn’t look up even though a few students were hurrying down the steps beside her, locating their ride home. Luckily, she raised her head as I pulled the car up in front of her, closing her book until she could revisit her characters and the story once more. 

Her recent passion for books warms me, makes me happy. It reminds me of my days in country school when all grades, around thirty students were in the same room – the sound of feet shuffling on wooden floors, the teacher instructing another grade, other students softly talking back and forth, discussing assignments. I disappeared, sitting at my desk, my nose buried in the latest animal book. I heard nothing as the book’s characters surrounding me took over.  

I still experience the same as I continue to enter my next a book. 

My granddaughter now asks what I am reading every time she sees me with an open book, which like her, could take place in any setting. She always shows me her “latest” book purchase and I read the first chapter to discover its tone. She loves that I do, and we discuss the book a little bit. I’m delighted, not only because she shares with me the book she’s reading, but also because it gives us a special connection. Thank heaven for books.

4 thoughts on “She Reads

  1. So true. I love to read. I read to grandkids a lot. I buy them books and I take them to the library.
    When we go places in the car, I bring a bag of books for them to look at. Thanks for this essay, and to everyone I would like to say, “Have you hugged a book today?”

  2. I liked these as well and the Judy Moody series by Megan McDonald. Love all these coming of age. So glad granddaughter finds a ‘world of wonder’ in reading. Lucky you.

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