Happy birthday to Judy Blume! From Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing to Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, her coming-of-age novels teach timeless, funny, thoughtful lessons about first love and sex, bullying, and identity. Even better, Blume is wonderfully active on social media, tweeting and doing Reddit AMAs to help us relive our favorite YA books. We’ve grown up with Deenie and Fudge and Margaret, so we had to ask: Where are they today? Join us in guessing at what happens after the book ends.
Despite all of Margaret’s initial fears that she would never develop, she pulls through puberty quite nicely. Though she ultimately regrets praying for it to come so soon. She doesn’t talk to God anymore, finding herself totally ambivalent to the whole thing. Margaret sticks with The Four Preteen Sensations (though they had to change their name) until junior year of high school. It’s when she joins the school lit magazine that she fully realizes she has a voice and doesn’t want to be a uniform part of the “cool girls” group, though they part on surprisingly good terms. After graduating from college, Margaret moves back to NYC and begins writing for some underground blogs before landing a staff writer position at theVillage Voice. She’s not married yet, but she’s not too concerned about that.
2. Tiger Eyes
Davey returns to Atlantic City better adjusted than when she left, but she doesn’t stay long. Her experience in New Mexico changes her in ways that only she could understand, and she wants to see skies she can’t believe again. So, after graduating, Davey travels: rock climbing in South Africa, biking the Ruta Austral trail in Chile, and she even sees real tigers in India. She sends pictures home to her mom and Jason; she writes letters to Wolf telling him about her adventures. She likes to think that her dad wouldn’t want her being held down by fears, though sometimes she still buys little trinkets that remind her of him. Davey always remembers where she came from, but her eyes are set on where she’s going.
Fudge has, to the relief of his family and friends, finally reverted to the use of his legal name: Farley Drexel Hatcher. His relationship with his older brother, Peter, is less antagonistic, although he does still frequently get on Peter’s nerves. Fudge surprises everyone and goes to law school, becoming a wildly successful criminal defense attorney. After “getting away with everything” for his whole childhood—just ask Peter—he now makes a living helping others, including a number of high-profile celebrity clients, do the same. He hasn’t eaten any turtles recently, but he did try escargot (which he hated) last week.
Things don’t work out with Theo, obviously, but while they’re together, Katherine learns more about her body and her sexuality. She majors in Women’s Studies at college and eagerly follows along with the Women’s Movement of the ’70s, even attending a convention or two and getting a glimpse of Gloria Steinem. Despite settling down and starting a family, she still runs a seminar at the local high schools advocating for better sex ed. Her proudest moment is when her teenage daughter’s Tumblr post against slut-shaming goes viral.
After the bullying stops, Linda manages to stick it out for the rest of junior high. However, she transfers to a different high school than Wendy, Jill, and those girls; she doesn’t trust that she’ll be able to start fresh without the nickname of “Blubber” following her around. Losing weight and learning how to use makeup help, and she makes a new group of friends, but she still avoids using the girls’ bathroom alone. She gets out of Hidden Valley for college and becomes a marine biologist. (Yep, middle school doesn’t ruin whales for her.) Every time she hears a story about cyberbullying, especially now with social media, it gives her a small shudder.
At age 17, the back brace comes off and Deenie emerges with perfect posture, and still as beautiful as ever. Unfortunately for her, this means her mother’s pressure for Deenie to become a model is back on. Though very reluctant, Deenie gives in and is soon signed to a major modeling agency. Deenie gets her GED and is then whisked off around the world. While never reaching supermodel status, Deenie has steady work for five years. Then, at age 22, while on a shoot in Nice, she realizes just how miserable she is and hops on a plane back home. She uses the money she made to put herself through college and becomes a guidance counselor. Deenie’s relationship with her mother, while still a bit rocky, is on the mend. She eventually marries and has three children who she encourages to follow their dreams.