Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume

A while back I received a copy of Tiger Eyes, signed by Judy Blume HERSELF! I Danced and cried in the bookstore as my co-worker/friend looked on. I think that was the response she had expected. If you’re like most women who grew up in the 80s (90s too?) Judy Blume spoke to your  (tween) teenage soul. From the classic Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret? To the racier Forever, Judy was a staple on my bookshelf.

So it was with great joy that I finally picked up the personalized copy of Tiger Eyes and dug in for a re-read. Do you re-read? I love a good re-read. More on that another time. Do you know what I discovered?

I had not previously read Tiger Eyes! To be sure, I was a tween when I had read many of Blume’s books and as you grow up your tastes change. So it wasn’t until I finished this book that I realized I hadn’t read it! The book was originally published in 1981, so I probably was just entering high school and had moved on to more difficult books.

This is the original book cover. Dated, right?

But here’s what I discovered about myself and Judy. Judy wrote books for teen (or tween) girls that contained real issues. And back in the day, there weren’t too many books for girls outside of  Anne of Green Gables or Little House on the Prairie. And Blume’s books discussed issues that girls were often confronting.

Another great bit about Blume is that reading her is easy. It’s not super complicated or high brow, which I like because it’s inclusive; kids who don’t consider themselves good readers can read and understand the book. Judy is the Common Girls’ author. It’s difficult to believe but back in the day books did not discuss the issues that are becoming more and more common in YA literature: rape culture, death, drug use, etc. These topics were avoided. That is why some of Blume’s titles were challenged.

So briefly, here’s my two cents on Tiger Eyes: this is for young teens or tweens, probably 11 or 12 years old. Davey’s father is shot in a robbery and the family experiences emotional breakdowns in the aftermath of his death. There is typical teen behavior: drinking, language, and sexual content (although back then I think it was called “heavy petting”?). I smiled through the whole, very quick read. It was like I was 12 again, without all the hassle of middle school. It made me feel good.

Would I recommend this to a young reader today? Totally. Every reader needs a little Judy Blume in their life.

I have half a mind (Hey shut up!) to go back and read Fudge a mania and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Although I did have the pleasure of sharing these titles with my own littles.

In case you’re wondering, I would consider Tiger Eyes mildly diverse. While the main character is White, she does suffer significant trauma in the death of her father, and there is a handsome young man of Native American descent. What’s extremely telling about this book is that Davey is from Atlantic City and when they move to New Mexico she discovers how racist her new friends are, something she hadn’t experienced in a very diverse New Jersey.

See? Even back then Judy Blume knew what was up!


Adult Fiction Books Young Adult

Make Your Own Boyfriend After Reading Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky

If you’re a little too old for Young Adult titles

but not ready to commit to Adult (not that kind) Fiction,


Contemporary Adult or New Adult Fiction!

I’d like to share a preview with you of a couple of fun books from this genre by Daria Snadowsky:


Anatomy of a Boyfriend

Before this all happened, the closest I’d ever come to getting physical with a guy was playing the board game Operation. Okay, so maybe that sounds pathetic, but it’s not like there were any guys at my high school who I cared to share more than three words with, let alone my body.

Then I met Wes, a track star senior from across town. Maybe it was his soulful blue eyes, or maybe my hormones just started raging. Either way, I was hooked. And after a while, he was too. I couldn’t believe how intense my feelings became, or the fact that I was seeing—and touching—parts of the body I’d only read about in my Gray’s Anatomy textbook. You could say Wes and I experienced a lot of firsts together that spring. It was scary. It was fun. It was love.

And then came the fall.

Daria Snadowsky‘s unflinching dissection of seventeen-year-old Dominique’s first relationship reveals the ecstasy and the agony of love, and everything in between.



Anatomy of a Single Girl

After everything that happened—my first boyfriend, my first time, my first breakup—jumping back into the dating game seemed like the least healthy thing I could do. It’s not that I didn’t want to fall in love again, since that’s about the best feeling ever. But as a busy college premed still raw from heartbreak, which is the worst feeling ever, I figured I’d lie low for a while. Of course, as soon as I stopped looking for someone, an impossibly amazing—and devastatingly cute—guy came along, and I learned that having a new boyfriend is the quickest way to recover from losing your old one.

The moment we got together, all my preconceptions about romance and sex were turned upside down. I discovered physical and emotional firsts I never knew existed. I learned to let go of my past by living in the present. It was thrilling. It was hot. It was just what the doctor ordered.

But I couldn’t avoid my future forever.

In Daria Snadowsky’s daring sequel to Anatomy of a Boyfriend, eighteen-year-old Dominique explores the relationship between love and lust, and the friendships that see us through.


Sounds fun, huh?  Remember those Judy Blume books you used to hide and read when you were a teen?

Yeah, that.

Did I mention you can build your own boyfriend?

Click here:

While I’m a little too married to have a boyfriend, if I had to design one he’d hafta be strong enough to take out the trash, kill the spiders, and climb on the roof to rescue stray kittens. I named him Biff.

Build your own boyfriend

Cute, huh?  I thought maybe he could take that bad boy pitchfork and work in the yard.

Now that’s sexy!

Hey, I’ve got a BRILLIANT IDEA!!

Let’s all make boyfriends and pin them in Pinterest, shall we?

Tell me your Pinterest name and I’ll add you to the Pinterest board! (follow me Pamlovesbooks)

Banned Books Books Young Adult

#BBW A Short List of Banned Books – Update

I was cleaning up this weekend and found this old assignment from grad school: a list of banned books from 1990-2000. How funny!

How many books on the list have you read? The titles in bold are the ones I’ve read, now updated for 2012.

Check it out!

 The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–20001

  1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
  2. Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
  3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
  8. Forever by Judy Blume
  9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
  12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
  13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  15. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
  16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
  17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
  18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  19. Sex by Madonna
  20. Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
  21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
  22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
  24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
  25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
  26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
  27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
  28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
  29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
  30. The Goats by Brock Cole
  31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
  32. Blubber by Judy Blume
  33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
  34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
  35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
  36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
  37. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  40. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
  41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
  45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
  46. Deenie by Judy Blume
  47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
  49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
  50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
  51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
  54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
  55. Cujo by Stephen King
  56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
  58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
  59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
  60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
  61. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
  62. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
  63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
  64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
  65. Fade by Robert Cormier
  66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
  67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
  68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
  69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  71. Native Son by Richard Wright
  72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
  73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
  74. Jack by A.M. Homes
  75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
  76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
  77. Carrie by Stephen King
  78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
  79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
  80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
  81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
  82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
  83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
  84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
  87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
  88. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
  89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
  90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
  91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
  93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
  94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
  95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
  96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
  97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
  98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
  99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
  100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

I realize some of these books are pretty old. Stay tuned as I dig up more and more banned books!

Have you read any of these books?