Judy Blume, the internationally acclaimed author, moves her entire bestselling Fudge series to Penguin Putnam's books for young readers division

Penguin Putnam will be the sole publisher of Judy Blume's Fudge series in both hardcover and paperback, and will publish DOUBLE FUDGE, the first new hardcover book in this series in twelve years

New York, New York, March 13, 2002 -Judy Blume, the internationally best selling author, has made Penguin Putnam the new home of her entire Fudge series, it was announced today by Doug Whiteman, President of the Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers division. Penguin Putnam will also publish Ms. Blume's newest hardcover novel, Double Fudge, the first new book in the series in twelve years and her first book for young readers since 1993. Ms. Blume is represented by Owen Laster of the William Morris Agency. Penguin Putnam is part of Pearson (FTSE: PSON; NYSE: PSO), the international media company.

The enormously popular Fudge series includes the top seller, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, ranked #3 in Publishers Weekly's list of All Time Children's Bestsellers (all of the Fudge titles rank in the Publisher's Weekly's list of the Top 25 All Time Children's Bestsellers). Judy Blume is the award-winning author of more than twenty books for young readers. More than 75 million copies of her books have been sold worldwide, and her work has been translated into twenty-six languages.

The four acquired paperback titles, including Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (1972), Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great (1972), Superfudge (1980), and Fudge-a-Mania (1990), will be released under Penguin Putnam's Puffin Books imprint in 2003. The paperback editions have previously been published by Dell (now part of Random House). The new hardcover book will be published under the Dutton Children's Books imprint in September 2002.

Doug Whiteman commented, ?Judy Blume is one of the biggest brand names in publishing globally. Readers of all ages have enjoyed her books for over thirty years, and continue to do so. Judy's literary accolades are many, her success unparalleled. It's a tremendous opportunity for us to be publishing her in hardcover and in paperback. We look forward to taking this legendary series to a new level.?

Judy Blume said, 'Dutton was Fudge's first home and I look forward to working with the Penguin Putnam team on the paperbacks as well as the hardcovers.'

Some of Judy Blume's other well-known works include: Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret (1970); Blubber (1974); Just as Long as We're Together (1987); and Forever (1975). She has also written a number of novels for adults, including Wifey (1978), Smart Women (1983), and Summer Sisters (1998), a New York Times #1 bestseller.

Among her more than ninety awards is the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement, which the American Library Association honored her with in 1996. She is the founder and trustee of The Kids Fund, a charitable and educational foundation. She serves on the boards of the Author's Guild; the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, where she sponsors an award for contemporary fiction; and the National Coalition Against Censorship, working to protect intellectual freedom. Blume's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is featured in this month's 'A Book For Every Child' literacy program sponsored by General Mills. The program, which benefits Reading Is Fundamental, the nation's largest literacy organization, is being promoted on over 28 million specially marked packages of Cheerios.

Judy received a B. S. in education from New York University in 1961, which named her a Distinguished Alumna in 1996.

Notes

Penguin Putnam Inc. is the U.S. affiliate of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Penguin Putnam is one of the leading U.S. adult and children's trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks including Berkley Books, Dutton, Frederick Warne, G. P. Putnam's Sons, Grosset & Dunlap, New American Library, Penguin, Philomel, Plume, Puffin Books, Riverhead Books and Viking, among others. The Penguin Group is part of Pearson (FTSE: PSON; NYSE: PSO). Pearson is an international media company with market leading businesses in education, business information and consumer publishing. For more information, visit http://www.pearson.com./

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