Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Forever by Judy Blume

Still one of the most frequently challenged books over thirty years after it was first published, Forever tracks the course of Katherine and Michael's high school relationship. The two explore sexuality together, both the idea and logistics of it. Their romance, at first, seems to survive both their constant dialogue about the deed and the fact that Katherine is a virgin and Michael is not.

Forever taught me that books can be powerful and, to some, dangerous. In the sixth grade, I brought it to school and showed it to a girl who had just moved to California from Cairo. Her parents weren't pleased, and neither was the school. The next day, I was promptly herded to the principal's office.

Now this book sits on a shelf in my library. I have to chuckle every time I see it.

Bibliotherapeutic value: Although many teens will find themselves searching for the "good parts" and many critics are horrified by the book's frank discussion of mechanics and birth control, this book is a very responsible look at teen sex and romance. It's also an exploration of what makes a full and complete romantic relationship.

Blume, Judy. Forever. New York: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books, 2002. (First printing 1975.)

ISBN: 0689849737. $18.99.

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