Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

by Judy Blume

Published in 1970, this is a classic novel for young women from my childhood. I haven’t read it in a long time, so I thought I’d reread it and see if it’s still as good as I thought it was.

Eleven-year-old Margaret Simon has a lot on her mind:

• Her family just moved to suburban New Jersey from NYC,
• Her new friends are obsessed with growing up, and
• She’s started thinking about religion, which has been excluded from her upbringing.

In a series of private conversations with God, Margaret copes with the changes in her life and all of the questions that she has. Topics include: friends, family, boys, and her changing body. No topic is off-limits, thank God!

I must have read this novel dozens of times when I was younger. Still, there were parts of the novel that seemed new to me. What stood out most to me was Margaret’s relationship with her grandmother. It never seemed unusual to me when I was a kid because I also had a close relationship with my grandmother. But now? Margaret admits that her parents find her grandmother to be overbearing, and I totally understand it.

The novel still addresses issues of today, which is great. Additionally, her characters are real, the situations are thought-provoking, and there is nothing preachy in Blume’s prose. Still a great novel for young women!

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