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Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  13,137 ratings  ·  419 reviews
When Sally’s family moves to Miami Beach for the winter of 1947, she is excited and nervous at the same time. What will school be like in Florida? Will she make any friends? Will she fit in so far away from home?

Miami Beach has so many things to worry and wonder about, Sally is in for one unforgettable winter!
Published by Piccolo (first published March 7th 1977)
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Vivien Mavis Ryder I wouldn't recommend it for anyone. I'm in Middle School, and it was too inappropriate for me. For your second question: Yes, and yes.
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Jessica
Nov 15, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  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
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Presley
Oct 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Rebecca McNutt
What a strange book! From old ladies who look like Adolph Hitler to experiencing WWII from the safety of Florida, Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself is a wonderful but complicated coming-of-age tale.
Elizabeth
May 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrensbooks
So my mother found a stack of book reviews I did in elementary school as part of my class competition for who could read the most books in one year. In her endless quest to clean out my paraphernalia from her house, they are now with me.

I guess there were shades of GR back then--I won. Here is a random book review from the middle of the pack. Warning, I was a terrible and still am a terrible speller. Thank goodness for spell check! Otherwise I probably would have had to become an engineer :)

Manybooks
I know that Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself supposedly is very much autobiographical in scope, and with this salient truth in mind, I do to a certain point very much applaud Judy Blume for not in any way sugar-coating or attempting to make light of the fact that once Sally (who is obviously based on the author herself), her mother and ailing older brother have moved to Florida (because of Douglas' nephritis), she absolutely despises her elderly neighbour Mr. Zavodsky and actually believes ...more
Ellen Amato
Jun 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Wendy K.
Just re-read this 30+ years after my first read. Timeless. It's Judy Blume's most autobiographical novel & one of her best, I think.
Kate
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sally J. Freedman is a 12-13 year old girl who can best be described as having a creative imagination that runs wild! The book is set in the late 1940s. Sally and her mother and brother move to Florida for the winter, and Sally has managed to convince herself that an elderly man who lives in her apartment building is actually Adolf Hitler in disguise and he has come to Florida to retire.
Terri
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star-reads
Do you ever have the desire to go back to your younger days & reread some of the first books that ignited your passion of reading? For me, it was Judy Blume: from "Are You There God? It's me, Margaret" to "Forever". Judy Blume writes her books w/ a clarity & insight that always spoke to me & answered some of my own questions. Whether it's a 10yr old girl post WWII or a 15yr old boy struggling w/ an inner demon & how to navigate the teen years, Blume's books spoke to me & I'm ...more
Brianne
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-2017, fiction
This was thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining!! Sally is so funny and sweet.
Highly recommend and I can't wait to read more by Judy Blume!
Travis
Jan 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, reread, young-adult
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
Maureen
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Alyssa Nelson
I love Judy Blume for writing these wonderful books where the whole plot is just growing up and living life. This book is about Sally Freedman, a ten-year-old Jewish girl who is growing up just after the end of World War II; she moves to Florida with her mom and brother for her brother’s health and misses New York and her father a lot.

Blume has said that this is her most autobiographical work, and it shows in its full-colored, multi-layered portrayal of Sally’s life at ten years old. Sally is ju
...more
Kelly Hager
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of my favorite books from when I was a child. I overidentified with Sally (I also had a tendency to make up more interesting realities than my own) and I thought she was just really smart and fun.

And now there are spoilers.

Here's what I remembered going in: set shortly after World War II; Sally is Jewish and has several fantasies about saving her relatives who died in a concentration camp and killing Hitler; her older brother gets sick--something to do with his kidneys---and her gra
...more
Alexis
Jan 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I loved this book as a child, and decided to comfort-read it this week. I picked up a copy at Salvation army for fifty cents a couple years ago, and it has been sitting on my shelf ever since. I always thought that the book was about Hawaii, but it's actually set in Miami. ;)

I like the way Blume writes and the way that she deals with hard topics in a children's/teen book. Relationships, sex, breasts, babies, death and Hitler are all mentioned in this book. This book is set in 1947, but in many w
...more
Kathryn
Jul 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First sentence: "Can I have another jelly sandwich?" Sally asked her grandmother.

Favorite quote: Just one more story before I finish packing, she thought.

Although this is a fictional story it is autobiographical for the author. She lived much of what occurs with Sally living in Florida. This story was so honest and true to what a 10 year old girl goes through in the fifth grade. It could have been me at that age. Her stories were so imaginative. I loved how she gave her father loving treatments
...more
Iris
Sep 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is right after World War II. Sally is moving to Miami Beach in Florida because her brother dislocted his elbow and had a kidney infection. Sally's brother was so sick that her parents decided to go for the winter to Florida. Sally's dad will not go because of work. Sally meets friends and wants a Latin Lover meets a man called Mr. Zavodsky and finds him weird. Will Sally like Florida?
I loved this book because it is about a normal girl who moved and is too worried. Sally misses her father ve
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Jerry
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's been years since I've read any books by Judy Blume, and even longer since I've read anything of hers outside of the Fudge series. I'd heard that some of her other books caused controversy, and, with this one, it's not hard to see why. Suggestive content aside, the good writing in this book was marred by a boring story and too many disparaging remarks about God. Readers of youth-oriented fiction can do much better.
Ruth
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Sally. My favorite thing about this book is the way it evokes all those years of trying to figure out the adult world as a kid- you get all these little snippets of conversation or things you see, and you're constantly trying to put them together to make sense of things, or to test them out yourself. In some ways I guess we do that forever, but when you're a kid it's almost like every conversation and every action is an experiment.
Isabel Haber
I enjoyed the plot, but I felt a bit lost. I feel it was fast-paced. Like, they would be at home, then suddenly in a blimp. I did, however, like Sally's imagination and how she would make stories.
Kelli Tompkins
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of my favorite books as a child, one of my most read books.
Mimi
One of my childhood favorite Blumes, this one kept coming to mind when I was reading What I Saw and How I Lied. I found, on this first re-reading since adulthood, that there was much in this book that went zooming over my head as a kid. I still thought it was a good read and it's always fun to see what scenes stay with you.
Alex (not a dude) 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
Jackie
Sally J. Freedman and her family, Mom Louise, Dad Arnold and brother Doug finds themselves at a crossroads when part of the family moves to Miami from New Jersey. Douglas was stricken with a kidney infection, and although recovering, needs the warmth of the Miami sunshine to fully recover, or so the doctor says. Dad is left behind to work at his dental office. The family, although coping, misses each other.

Sally finds new friends, makes up lavish and over-the-top, wildly concocted stories in he
...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Grade C

Although World War II has just ended, ten-year-old Sally is still preoccupied with Hitler. She writes stories about her cousin, who died in his camps, and even thinks her new neighbor just might be Hitler in disguise.

I loved bright, inquisitive Sally and all her creativity. I too wrote stories of peril when I was her age. STARRING SALLY J FREEDMAN AS HERSELF is a slice of life, period piece, one of Judy Blume's earliest and most autobiographical novel. As an adult, I enjoyed the story, bu
...more
Etta King
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
vannita narain
May 16, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lisa
Jul 15, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
After reading my very first Judy Blume novel earlier this year, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, I couldn't resist reading another one of Ms. Blume's novels. So, I decided to read Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself as my next read by Judy Blume.

Well, I couldn't have been more disappointed after reading Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself by Judy Blume!! I thought the leading character of Sally J. Freedman was so very annoying. In fact, I didn't like most of the characters in this novel
...more
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
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7,567 followers
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