Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. is a young adult book written by Judy Blume and first published in 1970. The book is a fictional story inspired by Blume's own struggle with not developing physically as fast as her friends. The titular character, prays in hope that she won't be the last girl in her group of friends to menstruate. Margaret, along with her friends, form a club to talk about their changing bodies and the boys they like. Margaret also explores the complexity of religion having already been given a head start with a Jewish father and Christian mother.
When my friend Jackie asked me if I wanted any of the books from a pile she no longer wanted, I saw this in the pile. I knew it was very influential, not just because it questioned religion, but also because it talked about female puberty, so I took it. After reading it, I think it's an important book for any child to read.
— This section contains spoilers! —
- The story is interesting and the book is well-written.
- I like how Blume doesn't pull any punches, both with what young ladies talk about when it comes to puberty and sex.
- I like how Margaret has doubts about religion and tries to understand it by learning more about it.
- Later editions of the book update the description of women's hygiene products to keep it useful for girls. Ordinarily, I'm against the idea of modernizing a book, but, since the story also doubles as preparation for puberty, especially menstruation, I think it's beneficial.
- I don't like how Margaret sees her menstruation, which would have happened no matter what, as a sign that a god exists. Granted, children can rarely distinguish between correlation and causation, but the goal should be to educate them on how to tell the difference, not reinforce ignorance.