Dear Ms. Sullivan,
You probably don't remember this, but you changed my life.
I was a voracious reader as a child. I had read all of the Little House on the Prairie books, Nancy Drew, and Hardy Boys. I was in dire need of something new, so I went to you, my school librarian.
And you changed my life by introducing me to Judy Blume.
I read ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT'S ME MARGARET. in one day. I came back for more. I read DEENIE (hands down my favorite of the Blume books) twice the next week. Judy Blume books were like brain cheese dip. I couldn't get enough. I ate up everything Judy Blume. Yes, even the naughty ones (which I didn't know were 'naughty' until much later...so I reread them.)
I didn't know it then, but you introduced me to a world that I wanted to be a part of. I was thirty years old before I realized how much I wanted to write. I wanted to inspire others the way Judy Blume inspired me. The day you handed me AYTG?IMM, was the day I discovered that fiction didn't have to be predictible or sad or cheesy.
Later in life, you and my mother became good friends. I know you were proud of me for pursuing my dream. You told my mother on numerous occasions. You were excited about reading my book--and that excited me.
I cannot express how heavy my heart is today. I knew you were fighting cancer. I knew it was a tough battle. Thank you for being my inspiration. You will be greatly missed.
Melissa (McKenzie) Francis
PS: Everyone go hug your librarian today. Librarians rock.