And I think I must be the only girl my age who never got into Judy Blume. The only Blume book I read was Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret, and I hated it. I feel like I read it at my paternal grandparents' house, so it must have belonged to my aunt, who was seven years older than me. I was probably ten or eleven.
I hated it. I hated any book like this, really. I liked my books with a certain... sterileness. I didn't like reading about bodily functions and puberty in such detail. It was gross. I didn't relate to this. I didn't talk to my friends or my parents about this. Why would I want to read about it?
In reading some of these other essays, a lot of these YA "classics" I never read, and I'm seeing a pattern. I wasn't into anything supernatural involving transdimensional travel or psychics, I wasn't into anything with a brutal look at some of the not-so-nice aspects of life. I didn't like such harsh reality regarding abuse, bullying, death, sex, addiction, and all that.
Maybe I missed out, not reading this stuff, choosing things that were nicey-nice and antiseptic instead. But reading was for fun, not to bum me out, especially when I was a kid. If I wanted real life... I had real life. Books were entertainment. Even the SVH books had a... a clean squareness about them. I was (was?) a square, and I liked my books square. I read Archie comics and the BSC because I liked the wholesomeness of them.
I do recognize a lot of the covers, though. And just the design of the covers which carried through all the different publishers, regardless of the authors. You see that Bantam or Dell Yearling logo, and it's like being at the school book fair again, allowance in hand and deciding which Beverly Cleary book to get. I did love me some Beverly Cleary.
And, okay, yes, I was totally the girl who wanted to be like Claudia Kincaid and run away to live in the Met, collecting change from the fountain to eat lunch at the Automat. And, yes, I still want to be Turtle Wexler when I grow up.
But I just never got Judy Blume. Or Madeleine L'Engle. Which makes me an oddball in my generation, apparently.