Judy Blume is easily the first author I remember LOVING. I was probably around seven when I read my first Judy Blume book. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and quickly headed to Barnes and Noble for more. I had to read EVERYTHING she wrote. Like most girls of my generation (that would be X) Judy Blume helped define our childhood and adolescence.
Deenie, Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret, Blubber and of course, Forever. These books taught you something about being a girl – what might happen, what may have happened, what you hope didn’t happen – all of it perfectly written in exactly the right voice.
When I was 10 I waited for two hours with one of my best friends at the original Barnes and Noble in Manhattan to meet Judy Blume and get the first copy of Tiger Eyes. That autographed copy of Tiger Eyes is one of the very few books that has moved with me from home to home – surviving over 30 years and 5 moves. Like many of Judy’s (she told me to call her that!) books Tiger Eyes is about a strong, young girl named Davey on the verge of womanhood. In Tiger Eyes she is also displaced, confused, and recovering from the sudden, violent death of her father. It’s a much more mature book – not quite Forever, but definitely more hardened and sad than Margaret.
The film is very loyal to book, beautifully shot and the lead actress, Willa Holland, is extraordinary. I highly recommend it not just for Gen X women who grew up with Judy Blume, but also for older tween and teen girls. It’s amazing to see how much Twilight and The Hunger Games follow in the footsteps of the Judy Blume tradition of smart, capable – slightly wounded, girls like Davey in Tiger Eyes. It’s not action packed or fully of vampires and love triangles, but it has at its core those paradoxical feelings of adolescent sadness/joy, fear/courage, ignorance/wisdom that universally resonate at that age – particularly with girls.
Two weeks ago I had the privilege of attending a screening of the new film version of Tiger Eyes – and Judy Blume was there to take questions and sign books!
I was thrilled to dig out my copy of Tiger Eyes from 1982. Judy was shocked and touched to see her autograph from way back then – she called over everyone to see it, and then signed the book anew here in 2013.
It was an awesome moment. And I can tell you that there were many, many women in attendance that day who brought their original copies of Forever, Tiger Eyes and the other faves – tattered, battered and well-loved – for Judy to sign as well.
You can check out the main Tiger Eyes page to see if the film is coming to a theater near you, but it is also On Demand, and online on the usual outlets.