Friday, March 10, 2017

Deenie by Judy Blume

Hardback Edition
I've been on a Judy Blume reading kick for almost two years now and Deenie by Judy Blume is the fifth novel I've read by the author since 2015.

Wow, Deenie is another powerfully written young adult novel by Judy Blume!! Ms. Blume does write very thought provoking novels for young adult readers (and adults) and Deenie is no exception.

I thought Judy Blume did a fabulous job highlighting what it must be like for a young person having to deal with scoliosis and having to wear a back brace from one's neck to one's hips to help correct a spinal curvature. I felt like Ms. Blume accurately captured the emotions Deenie must be feeling/going through once she is diagnosed with scoliosis and also the idea she must wear the brace for four years in order to avoid disfigurement.

I feel it's important to have diverse young adult novels with leading characters that have to deal with important issues like Deenie dealing scoliosis and having to wear a back brace. These types of novels can not only help develop empathy and understanding, but also let's others with similar circumstances/issues know they aren't alone.

I also thought it was interesting to read about Deenie's mom, Thelma, and how hard she took the news of Deenie's scoliosis. Deenie's mom was my least favorite character in the novel. I didn't like how she was so pushy in wanting Deenie to become a model all because she thought Deenie was beautiful.... Like, seriously, is that all a pretty face can be??? And Deenie's sister, Helen, is the smart one, so Deenie's mom was pushy about Helen using her brains... Like why can't Deenie be both smart and beautiful... Deenie's mom seemed to be twisted in her thinking. I liked Deenie's dad a lot though. He was firm, but fair as a parent and very loving too.

As always, Judy Blume doesn't shy away from other 'heavy' topics like masturbation, sex, and menstruation which are also topics that are touched upon in Deenie.

According to WikipediaDeenie by Judy Blume, "has been banned in schools for themes deemed inappropriate for adolescents; in this case, talk about masturbation and sexuality. Deenie is on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000 at forty-sixth." Why is it that the best books are ones that are banned or challenged?

The following is a summary for Deenie by Judy Blume from Amazon:

Scoliosis twists Deenie’s plans for seventh grade in this classic Judy Blume novel with a fresh new look.
Deenie’s mother wants her to be a model, with her face on magazine covers—maybe even in the movies—but Deenie wants to spend Saturdays with her friends Janet and Midge, tracking Harvey Grabowsky, the captain of the football team, around Woolworth’s. She wants to be a cheerleader, too, and go to the seventh-grade mixer to hear Buddy Brader play his drums.
Instead, Deenie is diagnosed with scoliosis. And that means body stockings to squeeze into, a roomful of strangers to face, and a terrifying brace that she’ll need to wear for years that goes from her neck to her hips. Suddenly Deenie has to cope with a kind of specialness that’s frightening—and might be hers forever.
I am giving Deenie by Judy Blume a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!


  1. Ooo Judy Blume! Talk about a flashback! I remember reading her books when I was first getting into reading in middle school. I honestly don't remember which ones I've read but I do remember that whatever she wrote, I read it and loved it :) I don't think I've ever read Deenie, though. Maybe I should do a Judy Blume marathon sometime and relive all her books :) Lovely review, Lisa!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks