But more about that in a second. First, for those of you new to my book club format, here's how it works: Every week I'll suggest chapters to complete by the next post (which, in this case, will go up every Friday in July). In these weekly posts, I'll posit a few discussion-provoking questions for you to respond to in the comments section.
Of course, you are always welcome to read beyond the weekly chapters, but please don't spoil anything in the comments! After the jump, you'll find some questions that struck me as I read this section.
The next assignment: Finish the book! We'll discuss this section next Friday, July 31.
Now, to discuss the third section, in which we read from "It Wasn't the End of the World" through "The Mother of All Balancing Acts," just
- Reading "It Wasn't The End of the World" got me thinking about characters we latch onto at different stages of our lives. When you pick up a book, do you look for characters with whom you can identify? Or do you look for an escape to a different world? And has that changed since you were younger?
- After all the Deenie love earlier in the book, "Freaks, Geeks, and Adolescent Revenge Fantasies" sure put a different spin on things. Have you ever read a book where terrible things happen to the main character and you thought, "Ha! That's what you deserve!" If you read Deenie, did you identify more with Deenie herself or with the characters like "the Creeping Crud"?
- I think my favorite part of "Guilty's House" was actually the line in Jennifer Coburn's bio about what her mom told her when someone called her "weird": "Weird was simply a word used by boring people to describe interesting ones." That's a piece of wisdom that would be right at home in one of Judy Blume's books! Have you noticed any other lines like that?
- Man, I wish I had the Judy Blume diary as described in "A Different Kind of Diary." That story also touched on one of my worst fears as a kid: having my diary found and read aloud! Diaries were actually a big theme in this section, as Beth Kendrick's hilarious entry about her mom shows up in "The Mother of All Balancing Acts." If you kept a diary as a kid, can you still remember what it looked like? Have you ever reread it?
- Have any of the essays encouraged you to seek out other writing from these authors? Do you think any of them have Judy Blume potential?