#36 Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret

10 Feb

Where do I begin?  In its own time and varyingly so now, this novel is an important and necessary preteen coming-of-age novel.  And by coming of age, I mean discovering boys, desiring bigger breasts, and learning one’s own identity.  Main character and protagonist Margaret has just moved from New York to New Jersey with her parents, and is feeling the pain of being “almost twelve” and having to make new friends and deal with the changes that are happening both inside her and in her world around her.  She is not only separated from her friends and lovely apartment, but also from her loving Jewish grandmother, always there to support her and love on her.  But, alas, she does make friends, friends that encourage her to share her secret boy crushes and do exercises to increase her breast size.  All typical preteen activities, in my opinion.

While some of her worries and actions may seem childish and immature, she has serious concerns about who exactly she wants to be, including what religion to follow.  Following Margaret throughout this novel should take us all back to what it was like to enter teenage years, with hormones beginning to settle in, and confidence beginning to waver in our hearts.

Though rather dated and having set the precedent for more novels with a similar theme, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret should always ring true as our beacon of understanding the minds and journey of preteen girls.

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret

by Judy Blume

Originally published in 1970


Posted by on February 10, 2011 in Contemporary, top 100 children's books


3 responses to “#36 Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret

  1. Amanda

    February 10, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I read this a couple years back for the first time and enjoyed it despite the datedness. Oddly, just the other day some random person came across my review of it. I’d read it during Banned Books Week and talked about the reasons it has been banned, and why I didn’t agree with those reasons. The random viewer left me these long comments in horrible grammar yelling at me and telling me I should not have banned this book because it’s so good…perhaps she ought to have read the review more carefully. 😀

    • literarywife

      February 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm

      I thought I saw you tweeting about that not long ago. How embarrassing for that person, to not have taken the time to correctly read your post. Any reader of yours knows that each post is written with care and it would not be hard to interpret that you were not in fact banning the book. Yikes!

  2. Kari

    February 10, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Did you read the updated version or the one where they still put on pads using the belts? I haven’t read the updated version, but I remember being confused about the belts when I read it back in the day. I did love it, though, as a kid. It was so real.


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