Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great is one of Judy Blume’s best character books. Sheila is the antagonist from the Fudge series by Blume. [Sidenote: I love looking at how the covers of this book have evolved over the years.]
Judy Blume has the ability to write from a child’s world revealing all the insecurities of childhood and making the character relatable. As a child, I loved reading her books because I felt I could be one of the characters and loved how she made everything confusing about childhood into something that could be changed. Sheila Tubman is a classic example of a girl who has fears, insecurities and in trying to cover them up, discovers a strength in herself.
Sheila “the great” Tubman is a moving to the suburb of Tarrytown with her parents and sister, Libby, to get out of New York City for the summer. Her father is a professor and is renting a home from a professor and his family of boys. Not only is Sheila left without a trip to Disneyland, she has to go to summer camp. Needless to say, 10 year old Sheila isn’t excited but warms to the idea after hearing that she will get her own room and that she does not have to see her neighbors, Peter and Fudge, all summer!
Once she gets to their summer house, Sheila is met with a few obstacles. Her fear of dogs comes to life as they have to watch the homeowner’s dog, Jennifer, all summer. Sheila is not happy and convinces her parents to keep Jennifer outside.
Jennifer. That dumb old dog! She looked up at me and barked. I barked right back at her. I knew we should have gone to Disneyland.
Click here to read more of my thoughts and favorite quotes from Blume’s classic novel.
Do you have a Judy Blume favorite? Which one?