At a Hartford book signing, author Judy Blume recalls inscribing one of her books years ago for fan Tracey Sondik before signing another one for Sondik's daughter.
HARTFORD, Connecticut, U.S.A. – Author Judy Blume’s lecture last week for the Mark Twain House drew fans of all ages.
Tracey Sondik of Bolton, Connecticut, brought her eight-year-old daughter, Sam Sondik, to meet the author.
In her arms, Sondik carried books Blume had signed for Sondik’s grandparents – her grandfather had once worked for Blume – and one she’d autographed for Sondik herself when she was a girl.
“She was my favorite author growing up,” said Sondik, who said she found meaning in Blume’s honest books about friendship and growing up.
Sondik said she appreciated that at a time when the Jewish religion wasn't often a topic in children's literature, Blume took it upon herself to make it an issue for the world.
Sondik showed Blume the books she’d signed years ago and then asked her to sign one more – for Sam, a young fan.
Author Judy Blume with two generations of fans,Tracey Sondik and her daughter Sam Sondik
“I like how she puts it all in a kid’s point of view,” said Sam Sondik, who attends Bolton Center School in Bolton. She said her favorite Blume books are Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself and Blubber.
Eight-year-old Alex Fox, who is in third grade at the Somers Academy in Ellington, Connecticut, said the Fudge books, like Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, are her favorite.
Fudge, Fox said, is “little and funny.”
Her grandfather, Ted Fox of Berlin, Connecticut, was at the lecture with her.
Fox said he attended junior high school with Blume 59 years ago. She was just another classmate then, he said, adding that she hasn’t changed much.
Nara Beckett, a 12-year-old student at Eagle Hills School in Greenwich, Connecticut, said she wants to be an author.
Beckett said she hadn’t ready any of Blume’s books – yet. But she was researching Blume, she said, and seemed happy to be able to hear her speak.
Youth Journalism International Junior Reporter Avery St. Germain and Senior Reporter Mary Majerus-Collins contributed to this story.
See the rest of Youth Journalism International's five-part package on Judy Blume's visit to Hartford:
Author Judy Blume Tells Her Own Stories
Video: Writing Advice From Judy Blume
Author Judy Blume's Censorship Began With Her Children's School Principal
Longtime Judy Blume Fan Meets The Author