Author- Judy Blume
Publisher- Pan Childrens
Genre(s): Young Adult, Romance
Interest Age: 15 and up
Reader’s Annotation: Katherine and Michael meet and fall in love. Once they fall in love, they decide to have sex for the first time, but will those feelings last a summer apart?
Katherine and Michael meet at a friend’s New Year’s Eve party. After that, they spend every waking moment together. They fall in love. Katherine feels pressure to have sex with Michael. Although Michael is not pressuring her, Katherine knows that he has had sex before. Kathrine plans on having sex with Michael, so she visits Planned Parenthood. Her mother also gives her information on safe sex. Katherine and Michael have sex. Katherine starts to make her life revolve around Michael. Her parents are concerned and they end up taking summer jobs in different states. Katherine soon develops feelings for another guy while gone. She learns that she learned a lot from her experience with Michael and from her parents.
I really enjoyed this book. I think Katherine was really smart in her thought process towards sex. I enjoyed Katherine as a character, and I feel like teens will relate to her experience and thoughts during this time. Judy Blume does an amazing job at relaying experiences that teens can relate too, and that they might have even experienced themselves.
“Judy Blume spent her childhood in Elizabeth, New Jersey, making up stories inside her head. She has spent her adult years in many places doing the same thing, only now she writes her stories down on paper. Adults as well as children will recognize such Blume titles as: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret; Blubber; Just as Long as We’re Together; and the five book series about the irrepressible Fudge. She has also written three novels for adults, Summer Sisters; Smart Women; and Wifey, all of them New York Times bestsellers. More than 80 million copies of her books have been sold, and her work has been translated into thirty-one languages. She receives thousands of letters a year from readers of all ages who share their feelings and concerns with her” (“Judy Blume,” n.d.).
Ties to Curriculum Units: Sexual Education (could be used for a health course)
Does Katherine take the right steps towards making this big step in life?
This book has been challenged and banned a lot over the years. It was one of the first books for young adults that talks frankly and openly about sex. I would be prepared to tell adults that this novel promotes the idea of safe sex education. It is beneficial to teens because then they can be informed and smart about sex.