Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Deenie” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.78  ·  Rating details ·  14,064 ratings  ·  772 reviews
When Deenie finds out that she has scoliosis, she’s scared. When she sees the brace for the first time, she wants to scream.

But the words won't come out. And Deenie, beautiful Deenie, who everyone says should be a model, is stuck wearing a brace from her neck to her hips. For four years—or longer. She never worried about how she looked before—how will she ever face the har
Hardcover, 159 pages
Published January 1st 1993 by Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books (first published 1973)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Deenie, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Izzy Given that this question was sent 4 years ago and your daughter is probably 15 now, I would recommend The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider. …moreGiven that this question was sent 4 years ago and your daughter is probably 15 now, I would recommend The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider. I haven't read Deenie yet but I've seen the two compared online before because they have similar themes - the protagonist of The Beginning of Everything is recovering from a car accident and has to use a cane.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,064 ratings  ·  772 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Deenie
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

The brace looks like the one Dr. Kliner showed us three weeks earlier. It's the ugliest thing I ever saw.

I have to give the story credit - to my adult mind this vintage YA is still five stars.

I read it at least three times growing up, but reading again was not boring in the slightest. Some of it came back to me, most I'd forgotten. It starts a little awkward but settles in fast thanks to Judy Blume's talented hand. She keeps the wording simple and the sentences short, but she's able to convey a
Ms. Smartarse
Another one of everyone's childhood favorite, that I read too late, and thus failed to get on board the rave train with everyone else. I probably need a middle-grader to explain all the hype, or just stop reading any more books aimed at this age group.

I have failed you

Wilmadeenie (a.k.a. Deenie) Fenner is your everyday pretty and entitled 13-year-old, plagued by the usual problems of the popular. Friends with whom to gossip, boys to secretly admire, cheerleaders to join, and of course outsider's to avoid. But mo
I remember when I was reading Judy Blume's Deenie about ten years or so ago (as I never actually did manage to read this novel as a child or a young adult), wondering with rather angry consternation and almost a bit of rage at what ALL the frigging online and offline fuss has been about with regard to the book supposedly describing masturbation. Yes, there is I believe a question posed in Deenie that "might" perhaps be about the latter and which main protagonist Deenie asks at school and indeed, ...more
Apr 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
I was struck by the completely real, unedited voice of a twelve-year old teen that Blume gives us in Deenie, the protagonist of this compelling story. When Deenie discovers her scoliosis and endures the ensuing doctor's visits and eventual casting and wearing of her back brace, Blume perfectly captures Deenie's emotions. On a personal note, I was diagnosed with scoliosis at the same age as Deenie, and cast with a brace, and I could completely relate to every one of Deenie's reactions, from denia ...more
Sep 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all preteen girls
This was one of the first Judy Blume books I read as a child, and I laugh now at how I thought Deenie was so old and sophisticated next to how I felt... However, I read this book over and over, because Judy Blume captures how teenagers think and feel, the awkwardness, the shyness, the way we are around our friends, and around boys! She really got it, and this book has readers in a whole new place, somewhere that we didn't know about, a diagnoses of scoliosis. I learned a lot of different things ...more
Chrys Fey
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was fourteen. At fifteen I had corrective spine surgery. I remember the brace I had to wear after my surgery and I hated it! Although braces are different now, it was still unattractive and uncomfortable. Mine actually did hurt because the most sensitive part of my spine stuck out a little and the brace dug into it roughly. The first time I had to wear it at the hospital was the day after my surgery and I cried because it caused me pain. I recall a male phys ...more
Sep 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Picked this one up and read it in one evening sitting at the library -- it's a young adult novel that's under 200 pages. I was reading about Banned Books Week, and saw a lot of Blume's books on the list. This one was apparently banned for it's frank discussion of masturbation. Ridiculous. The topic only comes up by name once, and that in the context of girls' gym class discussion with their teacher. She has them write anonymous questions on cards, and then they discuss the answers.

The sad thing
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Still today.... I will always remember this title and the letter I received from Judy Blume. I related to the character with her struggles.

"When Deenie finds out that she has scoliosis, she’s scared. When she sees the brace for the first time, she wants to scream."

It was a tough time and I had rough years going thru this ordeal from 5th grade til 9th grade. No one ever looks at you the same, even when you don't wear the brace in high school. Thank goodness there were 3 middle schools coming into
chloe ♡
3.5 stars

being an idiopathic s-shaped scoliosis patient myself, this was a somewhat relatable read - i'm all too familiar with the pain, the discomfort, and the blaming. it was interesting seeing how much the testing and bracing procedures have changed since the late 70s. i also appreciated the positive discussions about sex and masturbation, which i believe helped many children with their coming-of-age curiosity and struggles.
I was recently watching Judy Blume interview, and it made me miss her books. I needed a light reading after Troubled Blood, and this was a perfect choice.
Not one of her best books, but a quite good option to turn off a fuming brain.
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Here's the first sentence:
My mother named me Deenie because right before I was born she saw a movie about a beautiful girl named Wilmadeene, who everybody called Deenie for short.

To my ear at least, that's a flat opening in a flat voice. There is nothing making me want to read further. And that's the voice of the entire novel.

I wonder if this story seemed fresh and groundbreaking back in 1973 when Judy Blume wrote it. Now it seems like a paint-by-numbers plot about a girl coming to terms with a
Mar 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book is about a teenage girl named Deenie. She has a spinal problem and has to wear a brace. Deenie trys to hide it at first and tries her hardest to take it off but her boyfriend ends up finding out. She gets invited to a party and tries to go behind her father's back and take her brace off but decides not to leaving a "Take me as I am or leave me." attitude with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend ends up liking her as she is and she realizes that she had nothing to worry about.
I can connect D
May 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: youngadult
I was actually reading this book, in secret, right when my mother heard about it being "nasty" from some other PTA lady. It was under my pillow, five feet away, when my mom asked me if I had ever read it, and ordered me to never touch it. Fortunately, I am a good liar.

Isn't that terrible?

Anyway. Deenie is going to be a model, or so her mother has always insisted. But when she has to wear a scoliosis brace, she's not sure who is more upset: her, or her mom. She rebels, against the modeling, agai
Abby W.
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Deenie, is an over all great book it really keeps you hooked and never gets boring. This book is very good and has a really interesting and ending. The main character is unique because she is not this rich princess. I think that this book is so great because of the authors abiltiy to get the story and main idea across in an exiciting manner. I never wanted to put the book down. The book is amazing i think because it is not all drama and like they have no life outside of school. This book gives y ...more
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was ok
I'm reading some of the ebooks I've had marked as to-read for the longest, and for the first half of the book I was questioning what drew me to it other than it being Judy Blume and probably being on sale for kindle at one point. Then halfway through I realized it probably got buzz for being a banned book for a few references to masturbation, and it is mentioned in Gilmore Girls at one point. I didn't really enjoy this book, because the main character is so obtuse, incredibly ableist, and it's p ...more
May 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Just as good as I remembered.
Jun 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I like how Judy Blume followed Deenie through her scoliosis, from the diagnosis down to the doctor's visits with details of the medical procedures, like how the brace was made. And Deenie's character development, where she realises she can relate to people like old lady Murray and Barbara and Gena, although that was a little too preachy. I also the development of her relationship with her sister Helen. This book would be m great for young children or preteens with scoliosis or a major illness, o ...more
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this, would have liked to have it around when I was dealing with my own scoliosis. I probably would not have related to it much, as I went through multiple surgeries, but it would have been nice to see a book character that I had something in common with as a kid. Also really love the inclusion of sexual coming of age in this book!
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: z2019, r-g-bookclub
Ever heard of "adolescent idiopathic scoliosis" or knew someone who had to wear a backbrace? A girl in my class used to wear one, I had no idea what that was about, just that it was some kind of disease. I feel like I understand her better now even though its about 15 years too late. I don't have scoliosis so I cannot judge how "real" this book is. I got this book from the Rory Gilmore Book list and always wanted to read something by Judy Blume. I also would love to read "Are you there god? Its ...more
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Deenie was always told that she was beautiful and destined to be a model. However, everything changed when her PE teacher noticed that her walk was off, and her skirt was lower on one side.
Taking the suggestion to visit a doctor, Deenie’s world came crashing down when she learned that she had scoliosis. No amount of exercise could correct it, there was only the horrid Milwaukee brace, but it’s large, painful, and covered her from neck to hips. With her mother devastated and barely able to look
Kelly Hager
Oct 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Deenie is one of the Judy Blume books I didn't read as a kid, and I was absolutely in love with everything about this book. (She's named after Natalie Wood in Splendor in the Grass! Judy Blume never says the movie by name, but it's totally that one! [That's probably because you don't really want the target audience to look up a movie where the main character goes crazy because of sex, right?])

So yeah, this book essentially had me from the opening paragraph.

But there's also a lot more here than t
Shira Planer
Sep 25, 2010 rated it liked it
this book is about a girl - Deenie - who had scoliosis.

at the beginning of the book her mom wants her to be a model. but when she goes to an appointment for a modeling agency, they tell her they don't like her posture. she goes to the doctor, and then he tells her she has scoliosis.

her options are: to have a crooked spine and to be ugly for her whole life, to have an operation, or to wear a brace for four years or more.

since her scoliosis wasn't so sirious, she wore a brace. at the first time sh
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Grade: B+

Deenie, a seventh grader, wants to be a cheerleader. Her mom wants Deenie to be a model. Those dreams are dashed when she's diagnosed with scoliosis. Now she has to wear s brace and her life is over, or so she believes.

First published in 1973 when I was YA age, DEENIE felt fresh and new. The rerelease, though still relatable and interesting, feels a bit stale. I'll bet most YA readers have never heard of looking something up in Encyclopedia Brittanica and will wonder why Deenie didn't j
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teaching
This is a book about a girl with scoliosis. What?! Those exist?! I'm a 23 year old girl who has scoliosis and was told I had to wear a brace at age 13 unfortunately for me, my curve was too bad for a brace and I had to have surgery. I have two metal bars in my back and when I was 15 I had to have corrective surgery because one of the bars fell off.

I wish I knew about this book at 13. I felt alone and a lot of self pity during my days at home and this book could have helped me.

I found this as a
One of my favorites from childhood. Deenie is a great story.

Honestly? There are few Judy Blume books I have not liked. I really was touched by this particular story though.

In this book, Deenie has Scoliosis which is a problem with the spine. She is told she must wear a brace and is ashamed and scared of what her friends will think of her.

I get that age, anything that makes one different or stand out can be an issue. Children can pick up on weakness so easily. So I really understood Deen
Ciarán  Williamson
Jun 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-books
This was my first Judy Blume book. I hadn't read any before and I know they were a big deal to a lot of people growing up and I wanted to know more about them. This just happened to be one of the two my library had in stock when I went searching. It was decent! I read it in about an hour and a half so it's very short and an easy read. I very much appreciated how frankly and transparently Blume deals with sensitive but relevant issues for adolescents and I understand how her books would have been ...more
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This is another Judy Blume book from my childhood. I loved all things Judy Blume as a pre-teen and teenager, and think she is a wonderful writer for young girls. I am guessing that I read this book when I was around 12 years old, as I remember checking out many Judy Blume books from upper elementary school library when I was in the sixth grade. ...more
Oct 20, 2013 rated it liked it
whenever someone mentions this book, its always about how deenie has scoliosis and has to wear a brace. no one ever, ever, ever mentions that its also about masturbation. so I'm going to tell you: its about a young girl who has scoliosis, but along the way she learns a surprising amount about masturbation. ...more
Nov 19, 2020 marked it as did-not-finish
Started reading to see if I should re-order a copy for the library to replace the battered one we had. Answer is no; it reads like a really old story (which it is...) and not in a good way. For a more contemporary take on scoliosis (that doesn’t involve a weird modeling career), try Braced by Alyson Gerber.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2017 Reading Chal...: Deenie by Judy Blume 1 10 Nov 09, 2015 09:14AM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. girl with scoliosis back brace girl possibly named Debbie or Deenie. [s] 7 62 Dec 08, 2014 11:42AM  
Deenie 5 18 Jun 03, 2014 11:01AM  
International HS ...: conflict 1 6 Feb 21, 2013 12:05PM  
Deenie 1 6 Oct 23, 2012 09:35AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Cat Ate My Gymsuit
  • Can You Sue Your Parents for Malpractice?
  • The Pistachio Prescription
  • Freaky Friday
  • There's a Bat in Bunk Five (Marcy Lewis, #2)
  • Tenney
  • Goldilocks & Three Bears: Bears Should Share!
  • Fat Land
  • Teacher's Pet (Sweet Valley Twins, #2)
  • The Gossip File (The Dirt Diary, #3)
  • Mitch and Amy
  • Finally (Willow Falls, #2)
  • The Truth Game (The Dirt Diary, #4)
  • Split
  • Dawn and the We Love Kids Club (The Baby-Sitters Club, #72)
  • Claudia and the New Girl
  • The Prank List (The Dirt Diary, #2)
  • Opal Plumstead
See similar books…
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

Related Articles

The giant of children's lit plumbs an unusual event from her own girlhood—when three planes crashed in her hometown—for her new novel for adults,...
32 likes · 17 comments
“My mother named me Deenie because right before I was born she saw a movie about a beautiful girl named Wilmadeene, who everybody called Deenie for short.” 0 likes
“Kliner. I touched my special place practically every night. It was the only way I could fall asleep and besides, it felt good.” 0 likes
More quotes…