“I had the freedom to be a kid—a lot
more freedom than kids today,” she says.
“And the greatest thing my parents gave
me was that they were both readers and
I had the freedom to read. I think from
books, that allowed me to satisfy my curiosity about the adult world.”
THE CRASHES FADED LONG AGO FROM
the headlines in Elizabeth. The Elizabeth
River continues to flow beneath the bridge
at Westfield Avenue where the remains
of the first flight scattered and burned.
Magic Fountain Ice Cream and Grill now
sits at the intersection of South and Williamson streets near where the second
plane slammed into the ground. The Dr.
Orlando Edreira Academy No. 26 public
school has replaced the Janet Memorial
School for orphans (demolished in 1996),
where the third plane came to a halt in the
playground behind the dormitory.
The city of Elizabeth still hunkers
beneath the flight path for jets in and out
of Newark Liberty International Airport.
Thankfully, there have been no air crashes
in the city since the three successive tragedies 63 years ago.
As for Blume, she lives in Key West
with her husband, nonfiction writer
George Cooper. No, she isn’t afraid to fly—
actually, her daughter is an airline pilot;
her other child, a son, is a filmmaker who
adapted his mother’s novel, Tiger Eyes, into
a feature film released in 2013.
Blume is vice president of the Authors
Guild and sits on the boards of the Key
West Literary Seminar, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and
the National Coalition Against Censorship.
She travels the world to meet with fans
and discuss her beloved books.
In the Unlikely Event, her first adult
novel in over 15 years, hits stores on June
2. Fittingly, she will begin her month-long
book tour June 1 in Elizabeth at the City of
Elizabeth City Council Chambers.
Blume, whose parents were born in
Elizabeth, has grown increasingly nostalgic
about New Jersey, and especially her old
“Elizabeth is hugely important to me,”
she says. “I have a great T-shirt that I
received at the New Jersey Hall of Fame
when I was inducted. It says—it makes me
choke up—it says, ‘I’m a Jersey tomato’….I
am. I am a Jersey girl and proud of it.” ;
STONE & PREMIUM SIDING
Call 888-234-2929 • FREE ESTIMATES
METAL ROOFING, STONE SIDING & MARVIN WINDOWS
15% OFF ALL SUMMER PROJECTS
*Must be over $10,000 to qualify. Cannot be combined with other offers, existing orders or special financing. Exp. 7/15/15
NEW JERSEY’S PREMIER HOME REMODELER
Roo;ng • Windows • Siding • Gutters
FINANCING 7 Years in a Row
Global Home Improvement offers the full line of Marvin
Windows & Doors and is the EXCLUSIVE installer of Infinity
Fiberglass Windows by Marvin in Northern NJ.