The Meat in the Sandwich
New York: Dell Pub. Co. 1975.
Mike is sure there are only winners and losers in life until he becomes one of the latter. Mike Lefcourst dreams of being a star athlete, but when hockey season ends, Mike learns that victory and defeat become hopelessly mixed up. For a few weeks Mike is a winner not the kid in the middle but the all-important meat in the sandwich! The book handles some important issues (sex roles, sibling relationships, value systems) quite deftly.
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
New York: Dell Pub. Co. 1970.
After moving from the city to a new home in the suburbs, eleven year old Margaret faces the challenges of making new friends, getting along with boys, growing up physically, and choosing a religion. With sensitivity and humor, Judy Blume has captured the joys, fears and uncertainty that surround a young girl approaching adolescence.
New York: Dell Publ. Co. 1973.
Deenie’s conformity with adolescent real life interests will no doubt endear her to junior high girls. Deenie liked being pretty—ugly things like hunchbacks and bad cases of eczema repelled her—and she liked being attractive to boys especially Buddy Brader. Then her posture problem began. She had adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and she would have to wear a brace from her neck down to her hips for four years—or longer. The story told from Deenie’s point of view expresses poignantly her hopes, her worries.
Then Again, Maybe I Won’t
New York: Dell Pub. Co. 1971.
The treatment of the boy’s big and little problems is refreshingly light and undemanding, and the fact that they are not magically resolved adds to their likelihood and recognition. Ever since his father got rich from his invention and the family moved from New Jersey to a posh community, thirteen year old Tony had nothing but problems. On top of all that, there were growing up problems that all boys must face.
The Nitty Gritty
New York: Dell Publ. Co. 1968.
This story is real and tough, a gripping and amusing story with much warmth and nerve. If you live in a poor black slum, you’ve got to hustle to get out. Charlie Matthews wants to get out of Dogtown but the question is, How? The English teacher says stay in school. His father says shine shoes. When scheming Uncle Baron comes to town with get-rich-quick ideas, Charlie sees a light. He starts raising money to get in on the big deal and becomes a little wiser in the process.
New York: Dell Pub. Co. 1956.
Having a boyfriend isn’t the answer. Fifteen year old Jane Purdy dreams of having a boyfriend but doesn’t think it will ever really happen. Stan is everything she wants in a boyfriend, and more. But every time she decides to break up, the phone rings. It’s Stan . . . The worries, the joys, the anguish are portrayed with warmth, humor, and perceptiveness.
The Luckiest Girl
New York: Dell Pub. Co. 1958.
A year away from home—it could only be terrific! Shelley is sure about one thing: the upcoming year is going to be different. For starters, she’s finally going to break up with Jack. The second thing is to do something about her mother. She buys Shelley these ridiculous clothes that are too girlish and generally treats her as if she were six instead of sixteen. Lately they argue all the time . . . Shelley finds a way out of her problems. She can spend her junior year with family friends in California.
The Chocolate War
New York: Dell Pub. Co. 1974.
This is a compelling story that combines
Lord of the Flies
A Separate Peace
. Jerry Renault, a New England high school student is stunned by his mother’s recent death and appalled by the way his father sleepwalks through life. At school, he resists the leader of a secret society by refusing to sell candies for the chocolate sale, wondering: Do I dare disturb the universe?
Can You Sue Your Parents For Malpractice
? New York: Delacorte Press. 1979.
Who said growing up was fair? Or Easy? Certainly not Lauren. At age fourteen, her life is the pits. Bobby’s jilted her. Her ninth grade teachers are demerit crazy and she has to share her room with a messy younger sister who wants to be a stand-up comic, while her older sister seems to get everything she wants. Lauren feels she’s got no rights at all. But then Lauren takes a course in “Law for Children and Young People,” and realizes there are solutions to her problems.
The Pistachio Prescription
New York: Dell Pub. Co. 1978.
Red pistachio nuts cure any problem. When I’m upset or nervous or have a cold or something, I always eat them. Cassie is thirteen, a mousy-brown, in a family of blonds and redheads. On top of that, she has asthma. World War III is waged daily in her home, beginning at the breakfast table and ending with slammed doors at night. Operation Overthrow is under way at school, with Cassie running for fresh person class president . . . This book is funny, well-characterized and loaded with popular appeal for the junior high age.
A Girl Like Me
New York: Berkley Publishing Co. 1966.
All the vague whispers about girls in trouble become shockingly real to Robin when a friend is involved. Cass was a very attractive and friendly girl, who went with a fast crowd in high school—A few months later, a stunned Robin discovered Cass was faced with an illegitimate pregnancy. The consequences and their effect on the once cheerful Cass, coupled with her own efforts to help, brought Robin pain, but also deeper and wiser knowledge of the realities of life. This book is honest, understanding, and in good taste.