Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself
By: Piper Baucom

This book, Starring Sally J. Freedman, is written by Judy Blume. The cover design is by Lauren Rille. I had a hard time on deciding the genre. I finally agreed on adventure. Actually, I believe this could be historical fiction. The Prologue takes place the day they call VJ day. The August of 1945. The rest of the story takes place in the year of 1947. Like, the genre I had a hard time figuring out a plot development. I decided it was man vs. self. Sally, the main character, always seemed like she was in her own world. There was not really a protagonist or an antagonist. Well, maybe in Sally's perspective she would believe she's the protagonist. She would also believe that Mr. Zavodsky is the antagonist. There are also a lot of characters in this book. Characters: Ma Fanny, Douglas, Mom, Daddy/Doey bird, Christine, Andrea, Barbara, Mr. Zavodsky,Shelby, Peter, Miss Swetnick, and Lila. Like I said Sally is the main character in the book, her mind, and her made-up movies/adventures.

Prologue- It was August, 1945. Sally J. Freedman was at Bradley Beach, New Jersey. Sally was eating jelly sandwiches. She kept on asking for more. Ma Fanny (Sally's Grandmother) Asked how many she wanted. Sally said Twenty-One jelly sandwiches. Ma Fanny turned on the radio. Sally's family was renting two bedrooms in a rooming house for vacation. One of the other people renting a room in the rooming house came in. The person, Mrs. Sternberger, started arguing with Ma Fanny that Ma Fanny was using her jelly. Sally still wanted another sandwich. The radio stopped playing music. "We interrupt this program to bring you a bulletin from our newsroom, the announcer said. The war is over!" Ma Fanny was speechless. She turned up the radio. "The war is over!"


Elizabeth, New Jersey - May, 1947

Something had happened to Douglas. He was in the hospital. Sally's dad was with to make sure what was he was not badly hurt. Douglas is Sally's older brother. Turns out Douglas dislocated his elbow by playing in Union woods. Sally has heard of a strange and crazy man roaming the woods. She thought up a story. It's called: Sally Meets the Stranger

Douglas came home soaking wet. Apparently he had been playing in Union Woods, fallen into a creek, and dislocated his elbow. Since he was soaking wet for a long time he got nephritis, a kidney infection. He was quite sick. For a while Douglas seemed to get better so they made plans to go to Bradley Beach. Then he got way worse and they had to cancel their plans. Sally didn't want Douglas to die. Even though she would get his bike. She was reminded of the last two family members who died; Lila and Tante Rose. They died in one of Hitler's concentration camps.

It was August and Douglas was well again. Sally's parents had decided to take a trip to Florida for a week. They were going on a train. They were going to look for an apartment for next winter. Ma Fanny, Douglas, Mom, and Sally would stay and live there next winter. Maybe. Sally's Dad would have to stay and work in New Jersey. Sally was bored waiting for her parents to call. She thought of one of her movie/adventure's. It's called: Sally Saves Lila. This adventure is when Sally goes to Europe, finds Lila on the streets half-dead, and helps save her.When Sally's Mom called Sally after a few days she told Sally that she and daddy had found a place. It is definite now. Sally is going to Florida.

They were taking a train to Florida. Sally's dad would call and visit a ton. The first thing Sally did on the train was to write a letter to her New Jersey friend Christine. Then she played go fish with Douglas. She finally went over to another family, introduced herself, and played with the other children. Then they were finally there. The conductor called "Miami... Miami, Florida." They took a taxi. The apartment was ugly. It was small. Sally defiantly did not like this apartment. Two days later Sally got ready for her first day of school. Her school is Central Beach Elementary School. As she went to the office to see what class she was in she also see the nurse. Turned out she had head lice. She had to go home.

From that moment on Sally hated Florida. She wanted badly to see her father. Two days later she went back to school and the nurse said she could go to class. Her teacher was Miss Swetnick. Sally already had one enemy. Her is Harriett Goodman. Though Sally already had one friend. Her name is Barbara. Sally found that she had so many problems with her school and her school had many problems with her.

Sally's apartment was in one section of the apartment house. There was two other apartment's in Sally's section. The Daniels live next door to Sally. Mr. and Mrs. Daniels with their daughter Beulah/Bubbles. The other family, The Rubin's, lived across the hall from Sally. They're family is just like Sally's. One mom, one grandmother, and two kids. One of the kids, Andrea, is in sixth grade one grade above Sally. Sally and Andrea played hopscotch/potsy after school

About ten days after Sally arrived stuff came. Ma Fanny's sewing machine, creates full of clothes and house hold objects. Also, Sally's and Douglas's bikes came. Sally and Andrea go to Flamingo Park. There was people lounging all over the place. As they were riding their bikes a man stopped them. He offered them both candy. Andrea took some. Sally yelled "No!" rode her bike so fast she almost knocked the man down. Andrea came after her and asked what her problem was. Sally told her he could be a murderer or a kidnapper. Andrea replied, " that was Mr. Zavodsky."  That night Sally thought of an adventure Sally F. Meets Adolf H.

Middle Overall

So far Sally has two friends: Barbara and Andrea. One enemy: Harriett Goodman who hates people that live in Florida for only the winter, like Sally. Sally has not met all the characters I mentioned. The  two characters I have told about yet is: Shelby and Peter. You will hear about them soon. The adventure/movies Sally has had are: Sally Meets Stranger, Sally Saves Lila, and Sally F. Meets Adolf H. All of these adventure/movies Sally has are all starring herself.

Sally and her dad had a letter marathon. This is one of the letter's Sally sent to her dad.   "Dear Doey-bird,                                                                                                                     Hi! I loved your balloon letter. I'm saving it in my keepsake box, along with my marble collection,some shells from the beach and a very pretty flower I picked up on my way home from school. I'm glad the balloon did not pop when I blew it up. You didn't answer my question about the bathhouse disease. Please tell me what you know. It's very important! I have a new friend. Her name is Shelby and she lives at the corner. Don't get her mixed up with Andrea, who lives across the hall. Andrea is in sixth grade and has a cat named Omar. Don't get her mixed up with Barbara either. Barbara is my friend from my class. Shelby is in fifth grade too but not in my section. Her classroom is in a portable. She lives with her grandmother and has a neat game called Jolly Roger. I sure wish I had it to. We met because she goes home for lunch everyday, like me. We both got permission because we are allergic to the food at school. Well, not really allergic, but that's what we said. Finally we decided to walk back and fourth with each other. When I'm done I call for her and if there's time we play some Jolly Roger before heading back to school. Shelby's mother and father are getting a divorce. That's how she came here. They're having a big fight over who gets her and she's not supposed to know about it. She hates them both. I don't blame her. Next week is Halloween. There's going to be a big parade in Flamingo Park at night. A flamingo is a tall pink bird with skinny legs. Or did you already know that? Anyway, Andrea is going to dress up like one. She's tall enough! Mom came up with an idea for my costume. I'm going to be a peanut girl. She's sewing peanuts all over my old green dress. And she's making me a crown out of cardboard that will have peanuts glued to it. Even my socks have peanuts on them. Mom has two infected fingers from pushing the sewing needle through the peanuts, but don't worry Ma Fanny knew just what to do and mom is soaking her fingers right know. I am still blotchy red from the sun, but Douglas is already very tan. Mom say's Miami Beach sunshine is really some medicine. But she is worried Douglas isn't making any new friends here. At home he didn't have that many either so I think she should just leave him alone. He likes to explore by himself. He is also building a coconut catcher. He wants to get coconuts off the trees when they are just ripe enough, but before they get rotten. He loves to eat them and drink their milk. I tried one the other day but yuck...I spit the whole thing out. Does that mean I am not adventurous? I hope not! When you take a shell off a coconut it looks like it has a face. Or did you already know that? I miss you very, very much! I can't wait until Thanksgiving either. I will give you such a treatment then. Say hello to Aunt Bette and Uncle Jack and Miss Kay and everyone else you think might miss me.

                                             Your loving daughter,                                                                                                                              Sally F.                                                                                               P.S. Jolly Roger is the best game I have ever played!"                                                                  

Now you know what Sally's say in things is. It's also her point of view and her perspective. You also know about Shelby. You know some about different people, situations, and question's Sally has. I still have not talked about Peter. Up next is all about him.

Peter Hornstein was a horrible speller. He sat behind Sally. He had to stay after school a lot. One Wednesday they were doing a test on spelling and handwriting. Sally got a G for good. She felt a tug on one of her braids. She whipped around to tell Peter to stop and the braid hit her face. Miss Swetnick came over when Sally called. Ink was all over her face and dress. It turned out Peter had dipped Sally's braid into his inkwell by...accident. Sally glared at him. He smiled at her. Miss Swetnick gave him extra work after school. A lot of work I might add. Barbara thought Peter liked Sally. Sally hadn't thought about this but she thought Peter just liked to be mean. When Sally got home she also got in trouble. She tried to explain that it was not her fault she got ink all over her dress it was Peter Hornstein's fault!

Sally had suspicions about Mr. Zadovsky. She thought he was Hitler in disguise. When ever she mentioned this to Andrea she made Sally spit on the ground. Especially, if she said "Hitler" She asked her family if they knew where Hitler had gone after the war.  Douglas answered that he thought Hitler had gone somewhere in South America.  Sally's mom thought Hitler had gotten killed or lost in the war.  Ma Fanny thought that Hitler more than anyone should be dead.   


In conclusion, I think Sally was many things.  She was a detective, an actress, and herself all in one.  She had many friends and some enemies in Florida.  Her teacher Miss Swetnick turned out to get married to Peter's older brother.  Peter started to be kind of nicer to Sally.  Sally's friends were sad that she had to go at the very end of winter back to New Jersey.  Andrea would also be leaving for Brooklyn.  Christine was quite happy when Sally got back.  So was Doey bird also known as Dad.

I recommend this book to kids ages 8 through 12.  It actually says this on the back of the book.  Something I noticed about the writing was it wasn't exactly written in first person or Sally's point of view.  It was just third person, but we kind of knew what was going on basically in Sally's perspective.  There was no illustrations in this book except the front cover and the back.  This book reminded me of a mixture of books all in one.  Some examples of books I think have to do with this is: Are You There God, It's Me Margaret, Piper Reed, and Number the Stars.  My connection to the story is that Sally is in the exact same grade as me and we are going through some experiences like each other.  Even though I don't think my neighbor is Hitler, I still have adventures like her.  I also love that this story took place after World War II, one of my favorite time periods.