05/14/2010 10:52 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Judy Blume And Paula Danzinger Are Worthwhile Too! Nothing's Wrong With 'Teen Fiction'

At 11, it didn't occur to me to take issue with my teachers' characterisation of Blume and Danziger as "easy reading"; literary muzak. (I was a pusillanimous child.) The echoes of mild pedagogical sarcasm continued to ring faintly in my ears for years to come, with the result that when I recently went on a library-fuelled Judy and Paula binge, I felt like a guilty homework-dodger. But rereading The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, I suddenly felt a rush of long-overdue indignation on the book's behalf.

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