At 11, it didn't occur to me to take issue with my teachers' characterisation of Blume and Danziger as "easy reading"; literary muzak. (I was a pusillanimous child.) The echoes of mild pedagogical sarcasm continued to ring faintly in my ears for years to come, with the result that when I recently went on a library-fuelled Judy and Paula binge, I felt like a guilty homework-dodger. But rereading The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, I suddenly felt a rush of long-overdue indignation on the book's behalf.
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