Contact: Kelly Vence
Public Information Office
ELIZABETH, NJ - February 11, 2015 - Mayor J. Christian Bollwage has announced that best-selling author Judy Blume will visit Elizabeth to launch her new novel, In the Unlikely Event, on Monday, June 1, 2015. The book is based on a series of passenger airplanes, which crashed in Elizabeth within a three-month period from 1951–1952. At the time of the crashes, Judy Blume was a teenager. 
“Judy Blume is a talented author and part of our Elizabeth community. I am honored that she has chosen our hometown to kick start her book tour," said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. "Ms. Blume's work has been celebrated by generations and her achievements internationally recognized. I am looking forward to discussing her latest literary contribution at this exciting event." 
The first crash occurred on Sunday, December 16, 1951 and involved a Miami Airlines Curtis C-46 Commando. Following an engine fire, the accident killed all 55 on board and one on the ground along an industrial stretch of the Elizabeth River. The second incident was on Tuesday, January 22, 1952, where American Airlines Convair CV-240 crashed into a home on approach, killing all 23 on board and 7 on the ground, including former Secretary of War Robert Patterson. This particular accident narrowly missed Battin School, which was an all-girls high school at the time. The last event took place on Monday, February 11, 1952, when a National Airlines DC-6 hit a four-story apartment building after take-off, killing 29 of 63 on board and four on the ground.
“These events have lingered in my mind ever since,” says Blume. “It was a crazy time. We were witnessing things that were incomprehensible to us as teenagers. Was it sabotage? An alien invasion? No one knew, and people were understandably terrified.”
This novel, In the Unlikely Event, which will be officially released on June 2, 2015, follows three generations of families, friends and strangers brought together by the tragedies. We see these characters, which were either directly or indirectly affected by these events, coping not only with grief but with first love, estranged parents, difficult friendships, familial obligations, divorce, career ambitions, a grandparent’s love, a widower’s hope and more.
Judy Blume is one of America’s most beloved authors, known for twenty-eight books including: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret; Forever; and Summer Sisters. Together, her books have sold more than 85 million copies in 32 languages. She is a champion of intellectual freedom, working with the National Coalition Against Censorship to support teachers, librarians and students, who fight to keep challenged books on their shelves. In 2004, Blume was awarded the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. She lives in Key West, Florida, with her husband.
The launch of this book tour will take place on Monday, June 1, 2015 at 5:00 p.m., in City Hall’s Council Chambers on the third floor. The event is free and open to the public.  Copies of  In the Unlikely Event  will be available for purchase. Following the City of Elizabeth's launch, the tour will continue to New York; Pennsylvania; Washington DC; California; Washington State; Texas; Florida; Illinois; Missouri; Connecticut; Massachusetts and Toronto, Ontario, Canada.   
For more information, please contact the Office of Public Information at 908-820-4124 or visit