Final Judy Blume Book Challenge Summary!!!

Well, I finally made it!  This is my last summary for the Judy Blume Summer Reading Challenge, the summer reading challenge that spilled over into the fall.  But, that’s okay.  If you like Judy Blume’s books as much as I do, then I hope you have enjoyed reading my summaries and felt that they were worth the wait.  My favorite part about her books is that tween girls my age can relate to them.  Her characters could be girls that I go to school with and the situations that happen in her books still happen, even though she wrote these books back in the 1970s and the 1980s.  Like I said before, my mom is actually the one who bought her books for me and she told me that she read them when she was my age, back in the 1980s.  She loved them and wanted me to love them too and I do.  Are there any other Judy Blume fans out there?  Leave me a comment and tell me which book is your favorite.

Here’s to You, Rachel RobinsonTitle:Here’s to You, Rachel Robinson
Author:  Judy Blume
Illustrator:  None

Thirteen year old Rachel Robinson is a straight A student and a musical prodigy.  She excels at playing her flute and she is in all of the advanced classes at her school.  Rachel is good at everything she does.  She has two best friends.  One is named Stephanie Hirsch and the other is named Alison Monceau.  Alison just moved into the neighborhood and with her and Stephanie in the same homeroom Rachel is left out.  Alison and Stephanie become closer and closer.  But Rachel has problems of her own.  Her older brother, Charles, has been expelled from his boarding school in Vermont.  When he comes home the family is ripped apart.  Charles makes everyone feel terrible.  He is disrespectful to the entire family and Rachel just can’t take it anymore.  Her crush on ninth grader, Jeremy Dragon, seems to make everything go away.  Rachel soon changes her mind when she sees Charles’ new tutor, Paul Medeiros.  Rachel soon develops a crush on the college student and seems to forget about Jeremey, Charles, and her friendship problems.  When Paul invites Rachel to a music concert at the University where her father teaches she is thrilled.  Later on Rachel finds out her cousin, Tarren, would be going to the same concert with her boyfriend.  When they get there Rachel is having a great time.  She thinks that she is on a real date.  Then Tarren comes along and is introduced to Paul.  Rachel ends up finding out Tarren’s boyfriend is a married professor.  When Tarren finds out she is devastated.  Paul comforts her the whole night.  Tarren ends up ruining Rachel’s whole night.  Rachel isn’t surprised when she finds out that Paul and Tarren start dating.  But Rachel doesn’t care because after the concert Jeremy Dragon comes over to her house that night and takes her outside.  There he kisses her.  Rachel is so happy!  The next morning when Stephanie calls she tells her the news.  On the last day of school the kids get out very early and Rachel tells Alison and Stephanie about the music camp she would be attending in the summer for six weeks and about Natural Helpers and Challenge – two programs for gifted students which Rachel isn’t sure she’ll even do.

Another Judy Blume Book Summary – Deenie

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.

Deenie Book CoverBook Title:  Deenie
Author:  Judy Blume
Illustrator:  None

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.

More Judy Blume Book Summaries – Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. and Then Again, Maybe I Won’t

Only five books left in the Judy Blume Summer Reading Challenge.  Here are two more!

Are You There God It's Me MargaretBook Title:  Are you there God? It’s me Margaret.
Author:  Judy Blume
Illustrator:  None

Moving from New York to the New Jersey suburbs is already hard enough on twelve year old Margaret Simon.  Her mother Barbara is Christian and her father Herbert is Jewish.  Her parents say that they will support whatever religion she wants to follow, though both sides of her grandparents wants her to pick one or the other.  That’s not all that Margaret has to worry about.  She’s worried about starting sixth grade and making new friends.  After the move Margaret meets Nancy Wheeler who lives a few houses down on Morningbird Lane.  Nancy is also starting sixth grade just like Margaret.  Nancy doesn’t think about the same things as Margaret, like what religion she should choose or whether or not she will fit in at school.  Nancy is more focused on boys and she even practices kissing them on her pillow.  Nancy introduces Margaret to her friends Janie Loomis and Gretchen Potter.  They all decide to make a group named the Four Pre-Teen Sensations.  Nancy says they all have to have fake names in order to join the group.  In their group they do things like make boy books, talk about wearing bras, and getting their periods.  Margaret develops a crush on Phillip Leroy, a boy in her class.  The group also talks about Laura Danker, the girl in sixth grade who has started physically maturing.  With no one to turn to Margaret talks to God, always beginning the conversation with “Are you there God? It’s me Margaret.”  Margaret’s sixth-grade teacher, Mr. Benedict, asks the students to do a project on any subject that they want.  Margaret decides to choose religion.  Margaret does a lot of research and finally decided that parents should teach their children religion at a young age.  She writes a letter to her teacher instead of a report but she doesn’t include her talks with God in the letter.  Margaret turns 12 and goes to her very first school dance and her first party.  She gets her first bra and her first kiss with Phillip Leroy.  Margaret meets her mother’s parents for the first time and becomes mad with God that she cannot find a religion she feels right for.  She isn’t the first club member to get her period and feels that something is wrong with her.  Nancy lies about getting hers and Margaret finds out the truth later.  Margaret graduates from sixth grade.  She gets her period and she shares her excitement with God.  She is happy to finally be growing up.

Then Again Maybe I Won'tBook Title:  Then Again, Maybe I Won’t
Author:  Judy Blume
Illustrator:  None

Twelve-year-old Tony Miglione lives with his family in Jersey City, New Jersey.  Everything happens so fast when Tony’s dad finally sells an invention and gets rich!  He makes an electrical cartridge and sells it to an electronics company.  Tony, his parents, and his grandma move to a large home on Long Island.  Tony’s grandmother soon becomes depressed because she can’t cook meals for the family anymore due to the new housekeeper.  She is soon banned from the kitchen by Tony’s mom and starts to stay in her room all day.  Tony starts playing on the youth basketball team at his local Catholic church and meets Joel Hoober, who also lives next door.  Tony’s mother thought that Joel was an angel when she met him but Tony knows that that’s not the truth.  Joel steals in front of Tony all the time.  Joel makes prank calls and pushes Tony to do it.  Joel lies about most things.  He even gives Tony beer, vodka, scotch, rye, and brandy from his dad’s stash.  The boys drink too much and throw up in the bushes.  Tony has a horrible headache the next morning.  Tony is afraid to tell about Joel.  After watching Joel steal again, Tony’s stomach pain causes him to fall out on the sidewalk.  He’s put in the hospital and tested to see if he has any medical conditions.  The physicians find nothing wrong with Tony and refer him to a psychologist named Dr. Fogel.  Tony is finally able to speak openly about his stress with Dr. Fogel.  Although Tony doesn’t like Joel, he really likes his sixteen year old sister Lisa.  He starts having wet dreams about her and is afraid his parents and or housekeeper will find out.  For Christmas, Tony asks for binoculars and tells everyone he likes bird watching.  In reality, he wants to get a better view of Lisa because he can see her change her clothes from his window.  His dad tries to talk to him about sex, but ends up giving Tony a book it.  Tony thinks it’s because his brother Ralph and his wife, Angie, announce they’re pregnant.  They end up having a girl and naming her Vincenza after Tony and Ralph’s older brother Vincent who died in Vietnam a few years before.  In the end Tony watches Joel steal something yet again.  He turns him in after he is questioned by security.  Joel’s parents are told and later Tony is informed that Joel will be sent to military camp as punishment for his crime.

 

More Judy Blume – Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself and It’s Not the End of the World Book Summaries

Starring Sally J. Freedman As HerselfBook Title:  Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself
Author:  Judy Blume
Illustrator:  None

Sally Jane Freedman lives in New Jersey with her mother, father who she nicknamed Doey-Bird because he is constantly whistling, her thirteen year old brother Douglas, and her grandmother Ma-Fanny in 1947.  The war is finally over!  Not long after, Douglas tries to leap over a brook in Union Woods.  Sally knew not to go into Union Woods due to the strange man that hung out there.  She knew that Douglas still went because he was older.  He ended up dislocating his elbow.  When he came home from the hospital he was still soaking wet which made their mother furious.  When Sally doesn’t like to think about certain things she makes up stories in her head.  So while all the commotion was happening she shut everyone out and made a story inside her head.  Douglas ended up getting nephritis which is a kidney infection.  Sally’s parents think that it would be a good idea to move to Florida for the winter once Douglas gets better.  Sally doesn’t want to go but her mother said it would be good for Douglas.  They would all go by train.  When Sally learns that Doey-Bird can’t go just because he had to stay and work she was very disappointed.  Her father was a dentist.  She didn’t get why they had to leave him all the way in New Jersey just because of that.  It just wasn’t fair.  Leaving was the hardest part.

The train ride was okay.  Sally met an African-American family which consisted of two little boys, a baby girl, and a mother.  Sally thought they were nice.  She even got to hold the baby.  The next morning when Sally came back to the same spot the family was sitting in they were gone!  They didn’t even say goodbye.  Sally’s mother explained that they had to go to the African-American train car.  Sally was confused.  Her mother didn’t even care.  Once they got to Florida Sally was very tired.  Their family’s apartment was very small and she had to share a bed with Douglas.  Sally starts school and she is very nervous.  The nurse has to check her for lice and as it turns out…she has nits.  She has to wait a couple of days before going back to school and starting fifth grade.  In school Sally meets Barbara – a girl in her class, and Shelby – a girl who is in a different class.  She also meets Andrea who is a sixth grader.  The boy named Peter who sits behind her in class dipped her braids in ink.  Sally told Andrea about him and she claimed he was a “Latin Lover,” whatever that meant.  When a girl named Jackie moves in and Peter starts liking her instead of Sally, Sally gets jealous and starts to like Peter.  Sally even started taking dance class and enters a contest.  She is very disappointed when she doesn’t win.  Sally meets a man named Mr. Zavodsky who lives in her building.  He always offers her candy.  Sally refuses the candy and Andrea accepts it, which upsets Sally.  Sally thinks the candy is poison.  Sally is Jewish and thinks Mr. Zavodsky looks just like Adolf Hitler and she starts to believe that he is actually Hitler, in disguise.  Sally writes letters to Mr. Zavodsky and never sends them.  She spies on him, by listening to his phone conversations on a party line.  In the end, Mr. Zavodsky dies of a heart attack.  Sally also finds out that her father, who just turned 42, was the same age as his two brothers had been when they died.  Sally becomes worried that her father may die.  Her father comes to visit all the time and tells Sally that he won’t die.  At the end of the book, she kisses Peter at their teacher’s wedding.  It’s been a heck of a year for Sally!

Book Title:  It’s Not the End of the World
Author:  Judy Blume
Illustrator:  None

For Karen Newman life couldn’t be any worse.  She decides to never get married.  Just look at her teacher Mrs. Singer.  Last year she was Miss Pace and everyone loved her.  Over the summer she ended up getting married and turning into Mrs. Singer.  Karen now has her for sixth grade and she’s a witch.  Life at home isn’t going great either.  All Karen’s parents do is fight.  They can’t stand to look at each other let alone be in the same room as each other.  Karen grades the kind of days her family has and she writes down which of her parents started the fight that day.  Her mother is very happy when her husband plans to move out and file for divorce.  Karen tries to do anything she can to get her parents back together.  Nothing works.  At her father’s apartment Karen meets a girl named Valerie and they become pretty good friends.  Valerie’s parents are also divorced and she claims to know a lot about it.  But back at home Karen’s six year old sister Amy can’t even go to sleep at night.  Karen’s fourteen year old brother is also taking it very hard (though he claims he’s fine).  He just locks himself away in his room and tries to block out the outside world while talking to friends, lifting weights, and writing music.  He later ends up having a fight with his mother in a restaurant when finding out that his father is going to move to Las Vegas so he can get a faster divorce.  Their father stays home to help look for Jeff who ran out of the restaurant after the fight and he is unable to go to Las Vegas.  Karen believes that it was Jeff’s intention to keep their father from leaving.  The police even get involved!  Jeff ends up calling the house and coming back home all on his own.  Then it happens – Karen’s mother announces that they are moving.  Great!  Karen doesn’t want to move.  Karen has got to stop this divorce.  She feels alone and only has Mew, her cat, and Garfa, her grandfather, who she writes letters to.  Although she does not manage to get her parents back together Karen gets a book all about divorce and realizes…it’s not the end of the world.

Iggie’s House and Blubber Book Summaries

Iggie's HouseBook Title:  Iggie’s House
Author:  Judy Blume
Illustrator:  None

Winifred (Winnie) Barringer is an eleven year old girl who lives in New Jersey with her parents and her older brother Matthew.  She had a best friend who lived on Grove Street which wasn’t far from her house. Her friend’s name was Iggie.  They were the best of friends.  Winnie stayed over at Iggie’s house almost every weekend and if she wasn’t, Iggie was at her house.  Then, Iggie moved away to Tokyo.  When she did Winnie just stayed in her room.  Once she finally got up she rode to Iggie’s old house on her bike and she realized that a black family was moving in from Detroit.  She told her mom who already knew because of Mrs. Landon.  Mrs. Landon lived in the neighborhood and she was furious that a black family was moving in on an all white street.  She wanted to get a petition signed to make them move away.  Mrs. Landon did everything in her power to get the Garber’s out of the neighborhood.  They dealt with a lot of racism.

Winnie just didn’t understand why people didn’t like the Garber’s.  They were nice people.  She met the kids Glenn, Herbie, and Tina and their parents.  Shortly after they all became friends.  They even had a dog named, Woozie who was very fun to be around.  Winnie wanted to support the Garber’s so she made her own petition.  It was about feelings for black people.  She went around with it at her Aunt Myrna’s swim club.  She got one signature from Mr. Berger, the swimming instructor, who said he didn’t have a problem with black people.  When she showed Mrs. Landon, Mrs. Landon just rolled her eyes!  That very same day Glenn told her that the family was leaving.  Winnie couldn’t believe it!  Just because of a sign from Mrs. Landon put up that said that the Garber’s were not welcome there!  Winnie had to take action and she had to do it fast.  Then that night Mrs. Landon came over to the Barringer House to tell Winnie’s parents about the petition she made at the pool.  Winne’s father ended up being on Winnie’s side!  “Winnie’s petition is the same as yours.  She is as much as entitled to an opinion as you are,” he had said.  Mrs. Landon then announced that she would be moving.  Winnie was so happy.  She told the Garber’s who were even more excited.  So, at the end of the story the new family ended up staying and the mean Mrs. Land0n moved away.  It was perfect.

 

Blubber

Book Title:  Blubber
Author:  Judy Blume
Illustrator:  None

Blubber is set in Radnor, Pennsylvania.  The main character is named Linda Fischer.  She was a little chubby, but that was beside the point.  She was giving her report on whales when a note was written by Wendy (the smart popular girl) and passed around Mrs. Minish’s fifth grade classroom.  Jill Brenner left the note on her desk.  But a kid named Robby stole it and passed it around the room.  From then on Linda’s nickname was Blubber.  Jill’s best friend, Tracey, was holding a seat for her when she got on the school bus.  The bus ride home was terrible.  Spitballs and paper planes flew all over the bus.  They were directed at Blubber.  Linda didn’t care that Wendy and her best friend, Caroline, made up a song about her.  She didn’t care that the sixth graders were in on it.  She didn’t even care that the kids played keep way with her jacket.  She just looked out the window the whole time.

Since Tracey and Jill got off at the same stop and they lived down the road from each other they decided to trade stamps and talk about Halloween.  Tracey was going to be Big Bird from Sesame Street.  Jill hadn’t decided yet and when the topic came up at the dinner table at her house, she decided right then and there that she wanted to be a flenser (which was mentioned in Linda’s report).  Her little brother, Kenny, wanted to be a witch and he thought it was dumb that his sister wanted to be a whale skinner.  Jill thought the same thing about Kenny’s choice of a witch.  Jill ended up making a pretty cool costume.  Linda hated the idea but Jill didn’t care.  She spotted Linda’s gray tooth and also got in trouble a few times by her teacher for talking.  But that wasn’t going to ruin her day.  All she cared about was winning the costume prize.  Finally, the news came and it turned out….Jill didn’t win the prize. Tracey won.  That made Jill happy, but she was still very disappointed that she didn’t win.  Mrs. Minish even made Jill do all of her math problems over again!  Jill’s day was going rotten.  In the bathroom she told Wendy and Caroline.  Then they spotted Linda/Blubber who was dressed as Little Red Riding Hood.  Wendy and Caroline held Linda down while Jill made fun of her.  She took off her cape, and lifted up her skirt.  They all threatened to strip her down.  Jill was turning into Wendy and Caroline.  On Halloween Night Jill and Tracey put rotten eggs inside of one of their neighbor’s, Mr. Machinist’s, mailbox.  They put toilet paper all over Linda’s trees.  They put Silly Sting all over her bushes.  They even wrote, ‘Blubber lives here’ all over her driveway and sidewalk with chalk.  They ran into Wendy and Caroline and showed them everything.  In music class Linda farted and for laughing Jill got in trouble.  By then, Jill absolutely hated Blubber and wanted to make her pay.  Wendy, Caroline, and Jill made fun of Linda any chance they could get.  Wendy wanted Jill to trip her, pinch her, and hold her nose when Linda passed.  They were very mean to her.  They had her show boys her underwear.  They segregated her.  They made her eat a chocolate covered ant.  Jill had to go to a friend’s bar mitzvah and Linda was there!  It was really weird.  Jill’s brother, Kenny, really liked Linda and thought she was a great friend.  When he announced that to Jill, she just changed the subject.  Jill and Tracey ended up having to rake leaves at Mr. Machinist’s house for putting eggs in his mailbox.  Jill was positive that Linda told on them!  Wendy and Caroline agreed to make her pay.  They decided to have a trial. Wendy took over.  She locked Linda in the supply closet but still didn’t give her a fair trial.  Jill unlocked the door and stood up for Linda.  After that the next day Wendy turned everyone against Jill.  They called her names and bullied her.  Linda was now Wendy’s friend.  She was in on it too.  Jill now felt what it was like to walk in Linda’s shoes.  They were about to strip Jill when she stood up to them, all of them, even Wendy who was Queen Bee.  They ended up leaving Jill alone, but what was clear when the story ended was that none of the girls had a truly safe friendship with any of the others.  They could turn on each other at any time for any reason.