Banned Books: Forever by Judy Blume

27th Apr 2010

Forever by Judy Blume Cropped

Forever was banned in school libraries in the USA for a number of years. Although hardly the height of depravity, at the time of its publication, the book’s lack of moral stance on the issues of premarital sex and contraception caused outrage in religious circles, with one local reporter in America labelling the book “filth” and an unfortunate head librarian who supported the novel as “obscene and immoral.” But despite the criticism and outcry, Forever soon became a bestseller, and has remained one ever since, with Judy Blume lauded for her landmark romantic but realistic portrayal of young adults’ first forays into relationships. Soak up the nostalgia of teenage reading by getting it again for a mere £3.57, from Amazon.

Post by Jane Bradley


  • foxinthesnow says:

    We passed a battered copy of Forever around the playground at lunchtimes. It was how we learned about sex education. I loved it (although I didn’t understand a lot of it when I was 11).

    Please also write about Deenie. Apparently it’s still one of the most frequently banned books in America.

    • Jane Bradley says:

      What is Deenie? I’ve never heard of it! Maybe you can write us a guest post about it? I too loved Forever: at my school library it was hidden behind the encyclopaedias and you had to be told where to look once someone older and cooler than you decided it was time for you to learn about named penises and messy sex.

  • While I respect the fact that Judy Blume’s books are honest and real, I wasn’t allowed to read them, and I don’t think I’ll let my girls read them. I think it is just one more thing putting sex into their heads. I’m not saying the book should be banned from existence, some other parents may choose to allow their children to read it, but I don’t think I’m one of them.

    • Jane Bradley says:

      Thanks for the comment Kate, it’s definitely a very personal decision and one each parent will feel differently about. Personally, I think the reason books like Forever were so popular was that they were aimed at an audience that were already curious about (or maybe even experimenting with) sex, but might not have access to other people’s honest experiences of it. So, in that respect it could be helpful for teenage girls to be able to read it, especially when TV, advertising and most other media is so aggressively sexual these days. But I do of course recognise and respect that they might be too graphic for some parents’ tastes!

    • Alisha says:

      but thats the thing, the first amendment shows we have freedom to read and write whatever we want, when we want, so why can our parents stop us?

  • Vic says:

    I STILL haven’t read this! It’s the only Judy Blume book I haven’t devoured, mainly ’cause Mum said I wasn’t allowed. Mind you, that was back when I thought Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret was rude. But before I discovered erotic fiction, obvs.

  • Lindsay says:

    I loved this book! My Mum bought it for me when I was about 12. Mine ended up being the battered copy passed around the class!! Happy days…

  • Jane Bradley says:

    Thanks Lindsay! Loving the Judy Blume nostalgia….