“We must-we must-we must increase our bust!” Oh, how I loved this book. The most scandalous read of my pre-teen years. This is my original, autographed copy from 1980, one of my most prized childhood treasures. The cover is torn off, and the pages are frayed and stained from being dragged around with me everywhere I went.
I was about 9 years old when I read it for the first time, and far too immature for the subject matter. I mean, I seriously did NOT understand why anyone would even WANT boobs, let alone do exercises to make them BIGGER. Yuck.
An older girl saw me reading it on the school bus one day and asked me if I knew what a “period” was. “Of course,” I said confidently, “the dot at the end of a sentence.”
She then proceeded to tell my 3rd grade self the horrifying, gory details of the “non-punctuation period”, and I called her a liar while fighting back tears. The things you learn on a school bus.
I probably wouldn’t have been allowed to read it at that age had my mom known the subject matter…puberty, religion and boys. The book was one of the most banned and censored of the 1980’s.
But I was an insatiable reader as a child and the only kid I knew who actually got in TROUBLE for reading. I got in trouble for reading at the dinner table. Got in trouble for reading during family gatherings. Got in trouble for reading when my friends came over for play dates. Yeah, ok, that’s pretty rude I guess.
What can I say? I was a nerdy little kid. Who turned into a nerdy adult whose dream it still is to write a book that may someday boast stains and worn-out pages from being loved by another child like me.
So cheers to the books that shaped us, educated us, and let us escape into worlds different than our own. For, in the words of Margaret Atwood, “In the end, we’ll all become stories.”