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Most Controversial Judy Blume Books

  First Posted: 02/12/2012 10:19 am   Updated: 02/12/2012 10:20 am

By Margaret Bristol for Bookish:

Way before Katniss fought for her life in "The Hunger Games" and Edward met Bella in "Twilight," before "Sweet Valley High" and "The Baby-sitters Club," there was Judy Blume. With over 20 titles under her belt, Blume has been a driving force in young adult literature since the 1970s, and her books still fly off the shelves. So why is reading Blume's books a rite of passage for so many adolescents? Puberty is an awkward time for all of us, and Blume's relatable fiction covers myriad common tween and teen experiences including, sex, menstruation, divorce and bullying. In honor of the grand dame's 74th birthday this Sunday, here are five of her groundbreaking books that have made the American Library Association's list of 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books.

"Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret"
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Sure, this book is mostly famous for dealing with plenty of pubescent female firsts, like buying a bra and getting your period (a side note for the Blume faithful--the text has been updated since its 1970 publication with newer feminine hygiene technology, so no more belts.) But a bigger conflict comes from main character Margaret's religious background: Her mother is Christian and her father is Jewish. Beyond confused, Margaret asks questions to God to try and gain understanding of her changing body... and the greater world. Blume teaches readers that it's okay to question our beliefs and to let our identities evolve.

Issues: Religious differences, female puberty

Why it was challenged: Sexual references and alleged anti-Christian sentiment

Most shocking moment: We all remember Margaret getting her first period, but it is the discovery that her best friend Nancy was lying about getting hers that is the true surprise.
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