Judy Blume is one of the most prolific and popular authors. She has written everything from picture books to adolescent novels. For his reason, many readers have difficulty deciding where to start and what order to follow when reading her books.
You don’t have to read Judy Blume’s books in order. Since Blume wrote for different age groups, you can pick those most suitable for your age. Even then, many of her books aren’t connected, so you don’t have to follow an order. Her two book series are connected only through characters.
In this article, I’ll provide some suggestions on the best order to follow when reading Judy Blume’s books. I’ll also give you more information on her book series and her books for children, teens, and adults.
The Best Order of Reading Judy Blume’s Books
With 29 published books under her belt, it can be tough to know where to start with Judy Blume’s books. If Blume was part of your childhood, chances are you continued reading her into your teenage years and as an adult. She’s that kind of writer—able to view things from multiple perspectives and age groups.
The problem with this, of course, is where to start. Is there a specific order in which to read Judy Blume’s books, and are they connected in any way?
Luckily (perhaps) for us is that Blume’s books are standalone novels for the most part. They’re enclosed in their world, and the characters don’t leave that universe. There are some exceptions with her book series, but more about that later.
Therefore, there isn’t any specific order when reading Blume’s books. Still, for peace of mind, I recommend establishing some form of order before immersing yourself in Judy-Blume-world or simply follow the order I conveniently provide here.
I find that the best order when reading Judy Blume’s books is to divide them by category. Blume often published books belonging to different age groups, one after the other. One year she would publish a children’s book, and the next year, an adult book would come out. Following the order of publication can be a confusing business because of this.
You should pick a specific age-group-related book and start there. You don’t have to read every book in that category, but it’s easier to choose when all books belong to the same genre. According to Blume’s official website, she divides her books according to the following categories:
- Picture and storybooks
- The Pain and The Great One series
- The Fudge series
- Middle Grade
- Young Adult
I’ve listed Blume’s books by category below for you. Remember that you can read all these books in any order you want. Just stick to your preferred category and find what you like there.
Of course, you can also read something from every category. After all, books are good for you! If you’re interested in the various benefits reading offers, check my article ‘What Reading Books Can Do for You? 14 Actual Benefits’.
Blume’s Children’s Books
To make things easier, under this category, I’ve included books that were intended for readers below the “young adult” age group from the list above. This category’s perfect if you have a small child who likes funny stories. Some books from this category are great for understanding what older children are going through.
Below are some children’s books to consider:
- The One in the Middle Is the Green Kangaroo
- Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself
- The Pain and the Great One
Blume’s Adolescent Books
Judy Blume was a must-read for teenagers back in the day, and Blume perfectly captures what it’s like to go through bodily and emotional changes during those formative years. Of course, there are always adventures regarding a teenager’s main preoccupation—no, not school—love.
Some of the most popular books in this category include:
Blume’s Adult Books
Blume is also known for her books aimed at adult readers. They’re more mature in tone and themes. However, they still tackle Blume’s repeating ideas of love and identity. Only with these books, Blume explores ideas about sex and relationships more openly.
Blume has written only four adult books so far, and they include:
Should You Read Judy Blume’s Book Series in Order?
Judy Blume wrote two book series that follow pairs of siblings through their adventures and mishaps. Although they’re officially categorized as two series, they’re only loosely connected. In other words, you don’t have to read the series in order. These books are written as different episodes, each with a new set of adventures.
The only element connecting these books are the various characters we’ll meet in a second. This is the only reason you should be familiar with who those characters are, but that’s why I’m here, after all.
The Fudge Series
The Fudge series follows the Hatcher family, specifically the two brothers Peter and Farley Drexel (Fudge). Peter and Fudge can’t stand each other, mostly because of Fudge’s misbehavior (he turns three in the first book). By the fifth book, Fudge is five and still a nuisance for Peter.
You can read the books in any order you want, and the characters will remain the same, with only their ages changing.
The Fudge series consists of the following books:
- Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
- Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great (optional; it doesn’t follow Peter and Fudge)
- Double Fudge
The Pain and The Great One Series
The Pain and The Great One is about a sister (the Great One) and her brother (the Pain). They gave each other those nicknames to show how much they annoyed one another. This series, like the previous one, has characters that repeatedly appear in all the books.
The structure of these books isn’t that connected, and reading them randomly won’t throw you off balance that much.
The series is comprised of these books:
- Soupy Saturdays with the Pain & the Great One
- Cool Zone with the Pain & the Great One
- Going, Going, Gone! with the Pain & the Great One
- Friend or Fiend? with the Pain & the Great One
Judy Blume’s list of books she wrote is quite long. She writes books in different categories, including:
Readers often wonder if they should read most of her books in order. The short answer is no because most of her novels aren’t connected, and you can pick and choose what to read. You don’t need to read all the books in one category.
However, I recommend reading by category if you want to follow a certain order when reading Blume’s books. If you’re already an adult, you can skip to that category immediately and see what you like.
- Judy Blume on the Web: Judy Blume’s Books
- Judy Blume on the Web Judy’s Official Bio
- The Washington Post: As a Kid, I Loved Judy Blume’s Books. As an Adult, I Wonder: How Do They Read Today?
- Wikipedia: Judy Blume
- Penguin Random House: The Fudge Series
- Penguin Random House: Pain and the Great One Series
- Brightly: Judy Blume Forever: The Perfect Blume Book at Every Age
- Medium: Where to Start with Judy Blume’s Books