After listening to Judy Blume speak about Tiger Eyes at her engagement at the Toronto reference library last week, I was curious to reread Tiger Eyes. Reading her novels in my younger days, they seemed to grow with me and this book was was written for the older teenager dealing with serious topics of death, violence, sexuality, alcohol abuse, love and bereavement.
The main character, Davey, is dealing with the brutal death of her father who had been shot to death at his 7-11 store while Davey had been in the backyard with her boyfriend. Davey, her 7 year old brother and mother are thrown into despair and all deal with the death in their own separate ways while recuperating at the Aunt and Uncle’s in New Mexico. The little family requires the gentle nurturing of family and some professional help as they recover from their loss.
Judy has always been protective of having her books adapted for the screen and Tiger Eyes is the only book that has been made into a movie (it can be found on Netflix). She adapted this into movie together with her son. She laughed and shared that her son WAS Fudge – that he DID eat under the table and call himself Frisky that cat, reassuring the audience that at age 52, he does eat at the table now! Judy said that she and her son always knew that they would film Tiger Eyes if they had a chance.
She gushed about the process of filming the movie. She loved the intensity and long days that they spent in New Mexico and she took time off from writing In the Unlikely Event to complete the movie. Judy found the break helpful, came back refreshed and wrote parts 2, 3 and 4 of the book. The latter section of the book was so much better that she went back and rewrote part 1.
It has been refreshing to reread some of the books that I enjoyed as a teen. Tiger Eyes remains current and would be a great read for today’s teens. Judy Blume truly is an icon who understands teens and writes books that age along with teens. I am very pleased to have met her and listened to her speak about her writing.