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Starring Sally J. Free...
 
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Judy Blume
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Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  8,203 ratings  ·  290 reviews
While spending the winter of 1947-48 in Miami Beach with her family, ten-year-old Sally makes up stories, casts herself in starring roles in movies, and encounters a sinister stranger.
Hardcover, 298 pages
Published March 1st 1977 by Bradbury Press (first published January 1st 1977)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jessica
Nov 15, 2007 Jessica rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a tenuous grip on reality
I thought about giving this a five, and it might deserve one.

This is Judy Blume's best book. It's written for a younger crowd than her Puberty books, and Sally's concerns lie in the elementary school horrors of shame and embarrassment and trying to fit in. These are conveyed spectacularly well, as when she discovers upon moving to Florida that there are no doors on the bathroom stalls at her new school. Imagine!! The details in this book -- the social necessity of not wearing socks, the way the...more
Presley
Jun 02, 2008 Presley rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
"Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself" is my favorite book. It's about ten-year-old Sally who moves to Maimi Beach for the winter since her brother has a kidney infection and needs to stay in warmth. The book takes place in the post World War Two era. The book doesn't really have a main conflict, but you see Sally encounter world conflicts through naive eyes. She questions segregation a lot and she gets the same answers from adults: That's just the way things are. You also see Sally encounter e...more
Ellen
One of the first books I truly considered a "favorite."

Judy Blume was in New York doing a reading my freshmen year of college -- not having my copy with me, I bought a new copy of this beloved favorite and had her sign it. I couldn't stop gushing about how much I loved this book :o)

Superb characters, this is a book that has always "stuck with me." I often think of and remember little bits and pieces from the story. One of those books that seems to get better and better every time you re-read it...more
Travis
I was recently reminded of this after a conversation about the rarity of children's books about Jews that aren't all Holocaust all the time. I remembered loving this as a kid and am pleased that it stands up well to a rereading as an adult. Blume really is a good writer.[return][return]This is the story of Sally, a ten-year-old girl who moves from New Jersey to Florida with her mom, brother, and grandma after World War II, because her brother has been ill and winters down south are recommended f...more
Alex Baugh
This is an early Judy Blume book about a 10 year old girl living in post war America. In it, Blume portrays misconceptions that can happen when kids don’t fully understand complicated events and how they fill in what they don’t know with their own ideas.

Sally Jane Freedman likes her life in New Jersey. She has friends, including a best friend, and her family, mom, dad, older brother Douglas and maternal grandmother, Ma Fanny, all live in relative peace and harmony in a nice comfortable four bedr...more
Etta King
I read this book so many years ago - I was probably just about SJF's age - but it's amazing how I remember every detail. It's a brilliant take on a turbulent time through the eyes of a young girl. So many events as told by Sally, from the end of the war to sitting Shivah for her neighbors, seem so much more poignant, because the descriptions are without artifice. There is no real filter through Sally's eyes; we see everything because she doesn't know to look away. And her understanding of little...more
Cheryl in CC NV
I never read Blume as a child. I don't know if it's because our very small library didn't stock it (controversy? shelf space?) or they did, and I simply wasn't interested. So, when this offered to me, I figured I'd try it, see what I was missing.

Well, if this is one of the ones that gets banned, the morality police really need to get a life. Perhaps, when originally written, mention of a bathroom that looks like bordello would have shocked, but, after all, bordello is not defined - so the book m...more
Bethany
This is one of my favorite books from my childhood. I decided to re-read it the other day. Sally is such a loveable girl with an overactive imagination. I miss books like this for kids... believable characters, no vampires... Still thankful to Judy Blume, even after all these years.
Colin
I used to looove this. I remember i felt super grown-up reading it because our library had the hard back edition which I thought was extra extra extra long. On re-read, it's still cute, but there's a few things that are fucked up. One is this weird "Latin Lovers" thing the main character goes on and on about, and there's also some fatphobia. Also, perhaps this only bothered me because I happened to read the two one right after the other, but a girl who is doesn't know how to swim, doesn't want t...more
Gillian
I recently re-read this, along with a couple of other Judy Blume favourites, as I was writing some self-esteem sessions for teenaged girls and wanted to get back into my own headspace at that age. This is such a lovely book, and loses none of its charm for being read as an adult; in fact, I think the added charm is actually that I recognise so much of the behaviour of the adults in the stories as my own, now, and really appreciate the unique talent that Ms Blume hasin her ability to be right the...more
Emily A.
This is a great book! It is intreaging the whole time, and it is so real-life that it is hard to put down, so.... I read it again and again and again! I loved it and I gave it 5 stars with ease.I would love it if there was a sequel, and I would read it in a heartbeat. I loved how everything that happens you can relate too, even when she thinks she has found Hitler living underneath her apartment! I would recommend this book to anyone who was cracked up at the Fudge series or anyone who just need...more
Julie Sondra Decker
Sally is an imaginative child whose every thought becomes a full-blown fantasy. When she moves to Florida in the 1940s--in a confusing political and social climate much bigger than she can grasp--Sally worries about fitting in, and decorates her existence with meaning. She fixates on movie stars. She creates a secret identity for a neighbor. She interprets a bird's "gift" as a sign of luck. And she longs to be more than just one little girl; her quest for significance through small acts is touch...more
Maureen
Giving this five stars just because I re-read this so often it's a story that stayed with me. It also fuelled my childhood obsession with Judaism and WWII. (That and my sister's GCSE textbook).

Things I learnt through this book:
- Who Esther Williams is.
- Numerous Yiddish expressions.

Things I didn't learn 'til later:
- None of my family would give me a decent response when I enquired what a 'bordello' was. And it wasn't in whatever sub-par dictionary I looked it up in.
Rachael Eyre
Hmm. This was one of my favourite books aged ten or so, but once the filter of nostalgia is lifted, you come to this realisation: nothing much actually happens. Yes, it's coming of age / slice of life and all that, but Sally doesn't honestly appear to change or grow as a person. The element I remembered best as a kid - her daydreams about Hollywood - wasn't as key as I remembered, and the "Hitler in Miami Beach" storyline could have done with a better denouement too. Mr Zavodsky may not be the F...more
Nicole
I read this one over and over again. I think I had some parts memorized. It really saddens me that they don't have a picture of the edition I had which was yellow!
Val Jones
Mar 11, 2007 Val Jones rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Middle School Kids
This was one of my favorite childhood novels. I re-read it many times. Sally is a vibrant character, and her adventures are exciting and often funny.
Jen
This was my favorite Judy Blume book. I borrowed it from the library so many times that the librarian suggested I read something else!
Allegra Hailey Green
I adored this book and read it multiple times as a kid, but I think it's best if it's read with a parent or teacher that can explain the situation. Sally's life has been recently affected by the holocaust and she doesn't fully understand it, so reading it as a kid I didn't understand that part of it. It made me terrified to take showers and also that I would go somewhere where there would be no doors on the bathroom stalls (if you've read it you know what I'm talking about)! Also, the sexual ove...more
Ana705
i like this book. good, funny again judy blume!
melissa
THIS was my favorite Judy Blume. Yay!
Elizabeth
My favorite Blume book.
treva
I was 9 or 10 the first time I read this. I brought it in to class for Silent Reading, and one of my classmates exclaimed, "That's a really long book!" I was delighted to find it for sale at our library's annual book sale, and decided to re-read it for Judy Blumesday (which is by far the best invented holiday I've ever heard of). I was not disappointed. I was also glad to read this in the age of Google, as there were a lot of references that were lost on me as a youngster. I sort of knew who Est...more
Aesha☆
This book was really interesting. i think i really clicked with the main character,Sally J. Freedman, a young girl in the 5th grade. i would recommend this book to anybody who likes books that just is really modern day. very realistic. Judy Blume does and amazing job describing the characters feelings and she really makes the perfect characters, a typical American family. The only reason this book wasn't 5 stars was probably because at some points in the book i just thought that whoa okay nobody...more
Jordan Mierek
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
sj
Originally posted here as part of the 30 Day Book Challenge.

So. Today was another one I have been thinking about for a while. Because I wasn't sure how to answer the question. Really. In the end, I decided on a book that taught ME about these things, and decided that would have to do.

A Book I'd Recommend To An
Ignorant/Racist/Closed-Minded Individual

This is one that I'm still not even sure I'm making the right decision on. I just know that when I was a kid, Starring Sally J Freedman as Hersel...more
vidd berry
Why is this book on the bookshelf in my 8 year old's class?? So many things wrong with this book. May be suitable for an older audience, but its target is obviously around my child's age.

Is Judy Blume setting us up to have discussions that we're not ready to have yet?? How did teenage Bubbles get pregnant and why did her Jewish family disown her? Why do boys want to look down girls' dresses? Why was Sally's dad's friend's girlfriend not wearing any underwear under her dress and why was everybod...more
Tracy
I first read this book when I was in 6th or 7th grade, and certain scenes and characters have stuck with me all these years. Now, re-reading it age 43, I am the mother of a 13 year old son and a 10 year old girl, the exact same ages as 10-year-old Sally and her 13-year-old brother. Unlike my 11-year-old self who first read this, in this reading I really noticed the mother, and I can really empathize with her.

I know I read this book when I was a kid, and it didn't warp me or worry me, but I woul...more
Fiona
Summer Book Reviews
Fiona O’Brien
#1:Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself-Judy Blume
The Story
When 11-year-old Sally figures out that her family is moving to Miami Beach for the winter of 1947 she is nervous and excited to see a different place than just plain old New Jersey. But none of these feelings stop her from having the adventures of a lifetime. From finding the Latin lover of her dreams to trying to figure out if the old man in her building is actually Hitler in disguise. She’s trying to...more
Michael Bryson
I read this book with my nine-year-old step-daughter. I'd never heard of it before, though I'd read other Judy Blume books many, many years ago (like, the 1970s), and this one felt like familiar territory. Warm, doubting, confident, questing. Though it also includes recurrent references to the Holocaust, concentration camps, and Adolf Hitler. The protagonist, Sally, thinks one of her neighbors in Miami Beach is Hitler in hiding.

The book is quite long and, I would say, slow by today’s standard fo...more
Swankivy
This story was set in the 1940s, but even modern girls might find the charm in it and really relate to Sally. Sally and her family move to Florida and she has to learn to fit in. She is an extremely dramatic child whose daydreams and analyses become full-bodied stories and fantasies that are sometimes halfway believed. She likes to dance and swim and make up scenarios. There were parts of this book I found a little scary when I was a kid--the man-o-war scene comes to mind--but I liked seeing Sal...more
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12942
Judy Blume spent her childhood in Elizabeth, New Jersey, making up stories inside her head. She has spent her adult years in many places doing the same thing, only now she writes her stories down on paper. Adults as well as children will recognize such Blume titles as: Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret; Blubber; Just as Long as We're Together; and the five book series about the irrepressible Fu...more
More about Judy Blume...
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (Fudge, #1) Summer Sisters Superfudge (Fudge, #3) Forever

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