Judy Blume

Alicia Zuckerman / WLRN

Judy Blume turns 80 today (February 12), and she celebrated all day yesterday at the nonprofit bookstore she and her husband George run in Key West. It was hard to keep track of how many fans who showed up called her their "childhood hero" (present company included). 

Blume works four days a week at the Books & Books at The Studios of Key West, including all day every Sunday.

Alicia Zuckerman / WLRN

Judy Blume's latest book, “In the Unlikely Event,” came out in paperback this week. So we're bringing back this hour, which we produced when the book first came out last year. 

Copyright by Judy Blume and used only with her written permission. Not to be further reproduced or distributed except with her permission.

When I was in elementary school, I wrote an "autobiography" called "I Want to Be Like Judy." It had a pink construction paper cover and came in second in the school library contest. I never imagined that  30-something years later, Judy would say to me, "Let's take a selfie!" (See our virtual tour - link below.) I loved all her books, but "Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself" was one of my very favorites. I read it over and over. Ten times? Fifteen?  

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South Florida may not exactly have the brainiest reputation -- but those of us in the area's intellectual trenches know that it's not all beach bimbos here. In fact, the pleasant weather and peaceful shoreline vistas may well be making the population collectively smarter.