I bet you thought I forgot about my Judy Blume Summer Reading Challenge. Well, I didn’t. I just got so caught up in the beginning of the school year and starting middle school and everything. I’ve had so many other things to talk about over the last month. Anyway, I’m not too far behind on finishing up my “Summer” Reading Challenge even though the last day of summer was a few days ago. I only have three books left and tonight I’m going to give you another summary.
Beautiful Wilmadeene. Thirteen year old Wilmadeene (Deenie) is always being dragged to modeling agencies. Her mother Thelma wants her to be a model. Thelma wants Deenie’s sixteen year old sister, Helen, to be a doctor. “Deenie is the beauty, Helen is the brains!” says Thelma. Deenie’s never really wanted to be a model even though it would be cool to be on the front of a magazine. One day when Deenie and her mother go to a modeling agency Deenie is evaluated and is told that she needs to work on her posture more. Deenie is later told the same thing at school by the gym teacher who calls later that night. Deenie had to go to the doctor. There she finds out she has scoliosis. Her mother is very disappointed, but says she can still model after wearing the brace that was given to her to wear. She has to wear it for four whole years! When Deenie sees the brace for the first time she wants to scream, FORGET IT!
She hates it and doesn’t like the idea of wearing something from her hips to her neck. She has to get bigger clothes just to cover it. She would rather have the surgery instead, but it wasn’t her choice. Now that Deenie isn’t being dragged to any more modeling auditions she has time to focus on her best friends, Janet and Midge and her crush, Buddy Brader. She even befriends Barbara, a girl whose eczema alienates her from everyone. Deenie used to not want to touch her, afraid she would catch her rash. She used to think she was disgusting. Now they are great friends. Deenie is now more self-conscious about the way she looks due to the brace and she is afraid Buddy might not like her anymore because of it. In the meantime, Helen has fallen for Joey, who works for the family’s business, a gas station. Thelma has Joey fired because she is upset that Helen has become so distracted from her school work. Thelma claims that Joey was let go because of the family’s doctors’ bills due to Deenie’s scoliosis; but it was really about her concern about Joey’s relationship with Helen. Deenie believes her and is afraid that Helen will hate her because of that. Helen doesn’t blame Deenie and they both tell off their mother and cry in each other’s arms. In the end Deenie asks her father for permission not to wear the brace to Janet’s party. Her mother said ‘yes’ but her father makes her wear it. Deenie decides to bring a bag of clothes that fit her without the brace to the party, planning to take it off. She ends up kissing Buddy and changes her mind and leaves the brace on.