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5 books like ‘Summer Sisters’ to read next, according to author Judy Blume

Beach reads and coming-of-age stories galore!

Judy Blume is perhaps best known for her children's books, like "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" and "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.

As Jenna Bush Hager's August 2023 Read With Jenna pick shows, though, Blume is just as adept at crafting stories that resonate with adults. "Summer Sisters," published in 1999, is the story of two friends as they evolve past childhood.

Speaking to, Blume said while here are differences between writing for kids and adults, it's "always hard."

"It’s funny that people would think writing for kids is easier than writing for adults. It might take more time to write a novel for adults because it’s longer and the story can go in many directions but writing for kids has to be perfect," she said.

When caught up with Blume, she was reading Richard Russo’s new novel “Somebody’s Fool" and Ann Beattie’s new book of stories, “Onlookers.” 

If you're looking for a followup to "Summer Sisters," here are her recommendations, featuring summery settings and complicated relationships.

"The Summer of Naked Swim Parties" by Jessica Anya Blau

It's 1976 and Jamie is ready to grow up. At 14, though, there seem to be a barrier between her and the rest of the world — things she has yet to experience. So, she and her friends try to speed up the process in one summer, filled with first relationships and other more difficult firsts.

"Mary Jane" by Jessica Anya Blau

"Prep" by Curtis Sittenfeld

Curtis Sittenfeld's debut novel takes place in a prep school, as the title suggests. Lee Ault leaves her family in Indiana for the adventure of a prep school in New England. As she hoped, she enters a different world — but will that world ever accept her? Like "Summer Sisters," the novel plays on the distance between the adolescents and action-makers, and the adult onlookers.

"We Run the Tides" by Vendela Vida

"Hello Beautiful" by Ann Napolitano