Best known as an author of children's and young adult novels, but she has also written several novels for adults. Her works were frequently banned because she was one of the first authors of Young Adult novels to write about certain subjects previously considered "adult." She is a highly esteemed author in those circles that aren't trying to ban her. And is responsible for providing Nightmare Fuel to a whole generation.
She wrote many books. Among them are Blubber, Are You There God Its Me Margaret, and Forever. She has written one series, beginning with Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, featuring Peter Hatcher and his Annoying Younger Sibling Farley, universally known as "Fudge".
- A Day in the Limelight: Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great spotlights Peter's neighbor and rival Sheila.
- Age-Appropriate Angst
- Coming of Age Story
- A Date with Rosie Palms
- Deenie, in the book of the same name, mentions touching her "special place" and wondering if that's why she developed scoliosis. Blume said that a principal banned the book from his school library, saying he might've allowed it if the character were a boy.
- Similar passages in Then Again, Maybe I Won't have made the book a favorite target of censors. Or perhaps it's because of the boy protagonist's nocturnal activities.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Deenie -- their mother frequently tells people (including complete strangers) that "Deenie's the beauty, Helen's the brain." At one point Helen tells Deenie she doesn't have to fall into the role their mother has chosen for her.
- I Call Him "Mister Happy": Forever -- "Katherine... I'd like you to meet Ralph."
- Informed Judaism
- Lies to Children: In Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself, Sally asks her mother how babies are made. Her mother mumbles something about how the husband plants a seed in the wife; ten-year-old Sally wants more details, so Mrs. Freedman buys her a book about it. Later on, her unmarried teenage neighbour gets pregnant and Sally asks how that's possible, since the book told her sex was something only married people did.
- Naughty Birdwatching: In Then Again, Maybe I Won't, a boy discovers the girl next door likes to undress in front of the window. So he asks for some binoculars for Christmas for "bird watching" from his parents.
- The Noun and the Noun: The Pain and the Great One.
- Parental Favoritism: Played with in The Pain And The Great One, a book told in two parts. In the first, an older sister describes how her little brother "The Pain" gets away with murder and is clearly the parents' favorite; in the second the brother describes the sister "The Great One" in pretty much the same way, also concluding that she must be the favorite.
- A fairly prominent theme in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing with Peter's parents babying his little brother Fudge, but it's toned down a lot in later Fudge books, partly due to the addition of baby sister Tootsie.
- Parents as People
- Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour: In Then Again Maybe I Won't, main character Tony, his rich next door friend Joel and his old friend from the inner city, Frankie, are hanging out in Joel's basement when Joel jimmies into his father's liquor cabinet. The three boys get drunk. It was the first time Tony and Frankie had done this, but Joel had been drinking enough that he knew well the differences between the various kinds of alcohol.