Freckle Juice is a classic children’s book written by Judy Blume. Although written in 1971, the story can relate to every new generation of middle school aged children. The book revolves around Andrew Marcus, a freckleless boy with a burning desire to have freckles. His greatest object of envy is Nicky Lane, whom he sits behind in class. Nicky is covered with freckles.
Unfortunately, Andrew also shares his classroom with Sharon, a conniving little girl. Once Sharon learns of Andrew’s desire to have freckles, she sells him a bogus recipe for “Freckle Juice,” which Sharon guarantees will produce freckles. The recipe is a nauseating concoction of kitchen items, including vinegar, onions, and mustard. When Andrew drinks the “Freckle Juice” he not only becomes violently sick, but fails to get any freckles. Not wanting to return to school still freckleless, Andrew covers his face with blue dots with a magic marker.
His classmates find his blue freckles amusing. Then his teacher, Miss Kelley, gives him a “secret formula” to remove the “freckles,” and stresses to Andrew that he is very handsome with without freckles. Andrew also learns that Nicky is actually envious of him because he doesn’t have freckles.I enjoyed reading this book. I feel that someone in any age group could read the story, enjoy it, and understand the value of self concept and self esteem that it emphasizes.
Nearly every human finds a flaw in them whether it is obesity, mannerisms, language, or not having freckles! This story encourages people to see themselves as others do, and to appreciate the qualities they possess. I strongly feel that Freckle Juice would be an important component to teach in the middle grade classroom. Children at this age level can feel extremely self conscious of their appearance, as they are evolving from adolescence to puberty. Freckle Juice is an easy to read story that illustrates one boy’s envy toward another classmate.
I believe this story is realistic to this age group. Some children may see themselves in it. I think this story can show children how to refocus their negativity towards themselves and then see their own good qualities and assets.