Breaking Away from Conventions by Michele L. Haiken

Nerdy Book Club

I have clear memories of my early teen years sleeping at my grandparents’ house with my cousins and younger sister. I remember staying up late and reading aloud passages from the then, popular (and what some might refer to as taboo) Forever by Judy Blume. The secrets, giggles, and conversations extending the text we shared in the second floor bedroom influenced my love of literature going forward, but there were very few authors in my youth who I felt spoke directly to me. I cherished Judy Blume’s Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret and Forever for their honest and direct approach to subjects like young love, sex, and growing up.


My own middle school and high school experiences were consumed with too many required reading books full of abstract themes and symbolic metaphors that I didn’t understand until much later. Cynthia Voigt’s Dicey’s Song, Kamala Markandaya’s A Nectar…

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