Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

Thoughts Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. by Judy Blume, First Copyright 1970 / A Dell Yearling Book 1986, 149 pages

MOTIVATION for READING:     I selected this as one of my four RE-READS since I rarely ever re-read a book and this is one of those few books I recall reading as a youngster.     I wondered how my 40+ yo self would react to a book that my 12 yo self loved very much.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:    Seriously?     Raise your hand if you don’t know what this book is about!     Well, OK.    It’s about a pre-teen girl named Margaret who moves from the city to the suburbs and makes new friends, wants desperately to ‘grow up’ (and out, at least in the bra category) and conducts a research project of religions since her parents haven’t exposed her to any and her grandparents are quite eager to lay claim to her spiritual heritage (her maternal g-parents whom she has never met, mind you, want her to be Christian; her paternal grandmother is Jewish.)

I didn’t remember the religious aspect of this book – I only remember the frank discussions about menstruation.

WHAT’s GOOD:    Blume captures well the angst and awkwardness of youth.    I loved that Margaret was such a curious and brave kid, a smart kid.    The religious stuff was presented fairly balanced and without obvious influence, not in-your-face.

WHAT’s NOT so GOOD:     Can’t think of a thing wrong with this.  I must have had an updated version because I didn’t note anything too out of date (?!) – although I do recall a brand reference that seemed out of place.   I enjoyed diving back into my childhood brain and looking around.    Nothing too emotional or scary was dug up, so WHEW!    all’s good.    This is one book I *KNEW* I read so it has had years of staying power.    I am pretty sure I read more books by Blume so we can easily cite her as an early author favorite.     Not too far after this book – which wouldn’t you agree was a ‘community’ book meaning we passed it around through the group till all of us read it! –   I went on to read VC Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic after this and THAT is one I don’t have the guts to re-read.

FINAL THOUGHTS:   This was easy and quick so not too taxing for me to breeze through.    I enjoyed it.

OTHER REVs:   For some fun and interesting takes on this book, check out these from around the blogosphere RHAPSODY in BOOKS, she is too fond of books, The Zen Leaf, or check out Fyrefly’s Search Engine .

OK, I’m now more than half-way through this challenge!     Jane Eyre and Wind, Sand and Stars up soon…   or sometime before the year is up.


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14 thoughts on “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

  1. I’m one of those rare people who didn’t read this book until way into adulthood. The edition that I read last year was old, though. I know it’s been updated through time, but one of my favorite parts was reading about certain aspects of culture from the 60s and 70s that I wasn’t privy to.

  2. Amusingly, the only negative review I ever saw on this book was by a guy, who just didn’t get what all the fuss was about!

    Like Kathy, I didn’t read this for the first time until recently, and it didn’t seem dated to me either!

  3. I loved this book as a kid too! And just like you, I totally don’t remember the religious part of it. I do however remember: I must, I must, I must increase my bust. I’m not positive it was part of this book, but I remember that sing-song in relation to the book. 🙂

  4. I can’t tell you how many times I read this book when I was younger. I guess pretty much anything Judy Blume might fall into that category. I need to pick it up again, thanks for reminding me about it.

  5. Like you and Trisha, I liked this book as much as a re-read (many, many years later), and I didn’t remember the religious aspect.

    AYTGIMM is such a classic representation of my pre-teen years, I was surprised (disappointed?) when my pre-teen didn’t feel the same way.

  6. I remember reading this, but I don’t remember ANYTHING about it. I am glad it withstood the test of time for you- it’s always sad when books are disappointing the second time around.

    1. I bought Charlotte’s Web last year and have yet to look thru it – I thought I would give it to a Niece but it’s still here somewhere. I, too, re-read The Narnia books just a few years ago and I wish I hadn’t. Anne Frank’s Diary would be an EXCELLENT re-read.

  7. KB

    You must have picked up a newer copy because my edition, the one that I had originally, still mentions “the belt”! *giggles*

    However, I recently reread this and still LOVE it. I can remember being 10ish and questioning religion. This book taught me that it’s ok to be spiritual, but not have to belong to an organized religion to have a relationship with God.

    Plus, as I’ve said before, Danker was my maiden name and I loved seeing my name in print…even though Laura Danker had big boobs and a reputation. Wait…umm….

  8. I just recently read this one, and have to say that I kind of wish I’d discovered Judy Blume as a teen. I can’t say I was just like the teens in the book, but think it would have put voice to some of the things I thought about at that age. Glad you had a chance to revisit this one!

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