Today we have Jennifer O’Connell stopping by!  Jennifer is the editor of the new anthology EVERYTHING I NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT BEING A GIRL I LEARNED FROM JUDY BLUME. I know that I, for one, am DEFINITELY picking this one up–I was (and am) a HUGE Judy Blume fan.  When I was growing up, I had a pretty bad case of scoliosis, and, as a result, I spent most of elementary school stuck in a huge, plastic back brace.  n123604When I first read DEENIE, I felt, for the first time, like someone really understood what I was going through.  I also wore really thick glasses, so I was pretty much a total freak until I hit junior high.  Because I felt so different from everyone else in my school, I read constantly, disappearing into other worlds to escape my own.  To this day the feeling I love most in the world is the joy of having a fresh stack of brand new library books piled by the side of my bed.  Needless to say, I ripped through Blume’s whole catalog shortly after discovering DEENIE!

41alqyromql_sl500_aa240_I wasn’t allowed to read FOREVER because my mom thought the subject matter was “too adult,” so I locked myself in the bathroom every day after school until I finished it!  I reread it recently, and it brings me right back to being 14 and thinking sex was such an unbelievable mystery that I’d NEVER fully understand it.  I was probably too young to read FOREVER when I did, but it has remained one of my favorite Judy Blume books. . . along with ARE YOU THERE GOD, IT’S ME, MARGARET.

judyblumetradeAbout the Book:

Whether laughing to tears reading Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great or clamoring for more unmistakable “me too!” moments in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, girls all over the world have been touched by Judy Blume’s poignant coming-of-age stories. Now, in this anthology of essays, twenty-four notable female authors write straight from the heart about the unforgettable novels that left an indelible mark on their childhoods and still influence them today.  Drawing on their own experiences of feeling like a Fourth Grade Nothing before growing up to become Smart Women themselves, these writers pay tribute, through their reflections and most cherished memories, to one of the most beloved authors of all time.

Amazon link:

About the Author:

Jennifer O’Connell is the author of ten books, the most recent of which are her two teen novels Local Girls and Rich Boys. She received her BA from Smith College and her MBA from the University of Chicago. Visit her website at and

Praise for the Book:

“Funny, poignant, honest, and reverential, these stories will resonate strongly with the legions of readers who, like the authors, are grateful and lifelong Blume devotees.”

“From bittersweet to laugh-out-loud hilarious, the essays in this collection all sparkle with charm, style, and wit. No doubt about it, if you grew up reading Judy Blume, you will love this book.”
—Sarah Mlynowski, author of Spells & Sleeping Bags and Me vs. Me

“Writing in the spirit of Blume, these women present their experiences as a series of personal truths: ‘girl moments. Woman moments. Human moments.’”
—Publishers Weekly

And now, for the same questions about glamor and celebrity I always ask!

What (or who) do you consider to be glamorous and why?
Probably some old time movie star, like Lauren Bacall or Grace Kelly. They were so elegant and epitomized class. There’s no one today who does that.

If you weren’t a writer, what other career would you like to attempt?

Ice cream taster. Chocolate chip cookie dough taster. Suntan lotion tester. Beach comber.

What is the one article of clothing in your closet that you can’t bear to part with?
My faded, ripped Levi’s from college.

Who is your fav celebrity?
Julie Andrews

If you could put together a “dream cast” of the big screen version of your book, who would play the leads?
Wow. That’s so hard. I have absolutely no idea!! But I’d cast my dad as “the father” in any of them – he’s an actor in LA.

Britney:  Comeback or train wreck?
Train wreck.

What is your fav glam or exotic location to visit? (Mine’s Paris!)
I love Anguilla. Would move there tomorrow and live an island life in a heartbeat.

Which character in your work do you most relate to and why?
All of my main characters. They’re each a little part of me (yes, I’m not that imaginative).

Thanks for stopping by, Jenny!  If you’re a Judy Blume fan, you should DEFINITELY add this one to your to-read pile!  So, what’s YOUR favorite Judy Blume book and WHY?