A Tribute to Judy Blume (via the blog “A Mighty Girl”): Free Expression and the Freedom to Read, for Kids as well as for Adults!

Judy

For over forty years, author Judy Blume has stood up for free expression and the freedom to read. The beloved author of many Mighty Girl favorites such as “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret”, “Deenie”, and “Tiger Eyes,” the 78-year-old Blume has been writing children’s and young adult fiction for decades. But what her many young fans rarely realize is that her frank discussion of topics like religion, puberty, and sexuality in these books — the same honesty that makes them so appealing to young readers — has made her one of the most frequently challenged children’s authors.

Even as a relatively new author, though, instead of bowing to the criticisms, Blume persisted in writing openly and honestly about issues affecting young people — and speaking up for authors, teachers, librarians, and others who face disapproval, insults, and even the loss of jobs and careers because they refuse to remove books from the hands of young readers. As such, she has become a champion for children’s freedom to read — and authors’ freedom to write — about topics that some find controversial.

In our blog tribute to Judy Blume, we honor her both as an author of many beloved Mighty Girl books and as a determined and forceful voice against censorship and book banning. In a time when Blume’s books still face frequent challenges, her experiences combating censorship — and her powerful words about the value of making complex and daring books accessible to kids — are more important than ever.

To read our blog post, “Protecting ‘The Books That Will Never Be Written'”: Judy Blume’s Fight Against Censorship,” visit http://www.amightygirl.com/blog/?p=7425

To learn more about Mighty Girl books that have been challenged or banned — including the reasons behind the bans — check out our blog post “Dangerous Words: Challenged and Banned Mighty Girl Books” at http://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=4611

For a wide selection of Judy Blume’s much beloved young adult novels, visit our “Judy Blume Collection” at http://bit.ly/1vmwFMN

And, to introduce children to the woman behind these famous books, check out the recently released biography for ages 7 to 10, “Judy Blume: Are You There, Reader? It’s Me, Judy!” at http://www.amightygirl.com/broke-the-rules-judy-blume

Ed Note J Blume

 

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“Like a Girl”: how one company decided to break down the limitations society imposes on girls, resulting in a video which went viral…

Always & FY

By Kirsteen McLay-Knopp

Do we limit girls and tell them what they should or shouldn’t be?   Do we box them into expected roles?

A logo for the US feminine hygiene company "Always".

A logo for the US feminine hygiene company “Always”.

“Always”, a feminine hygiene company in the USA promotes education about the menstrual cycle and fields questions from girls and young women related to this.  In 2014 “Always” created an ad campaign designed to, of course, promote their products, but also to break down the barriers of the limitations society imposes on girls.  The company did this by asking a range of girls and young women, of varying ages and ethnic backgrounds, whether they felt limited by society’s expectations and stereotypes of girls and women and if so, how.

The answer was shocking: 72% of girls said they DO feel society limits them – especially during puberty – a time when their confidence totally plummets. “Always” decided to begin what they call an “epic battle” to keep girls’ confidence high during puberty and beyond.

The original #LikeAGirl social experiment by “Always” started a conversation to boost confidence by changing the meaning of “like a girl” from an insult to a compliment.  That conversation turned into major movement sweeping the globe.  Interestingly, boys as well as girls, became interested in the campaign and agreed that many of these stereotypes, as well as others about boys and men, were damaging.  One of the original “Always” ads can be viewed here:

Following on from this, “Always” sought to empower girls everywhere by encouraging them to smash limitations and be Unstoppable #LikeAGirl. 

Always say that, “For more than three decades, we’ve made it our mission to empower young girls worldwide by educating millions of them about puberty and their cycle, so they can feel confident – any day of the month. Together, we’re making great change happen.”

Watching the videos created for this campaign is a great way of encouraging discussion among children and young people about gender stereotypes and gender roles, expectations and socially imposed limitations… a great one to share, to strengthen our daughters in their “Forever Years”.

Find out more at http://always.com/en-us/about-us/our-…
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/always
Twitter – http://twitter.com/Always

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Related Links:

http://www.people.com/article/like-a-girl-always-ad-unstoppable

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11716710/LikeAGirl-Unstoppable-Always-video-Girls-feel-pressure-to-be-girly.html

http://www.buzzfeed.com/laurasilver/smashing-the-patriarchy-like-a-girl#.cgGV61emAd