Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret – Judy Blume
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Age Level: 9+
Reader’s Annotation: Everything is different for Margaret: her family just moved to New Jersey, she doesn’t have any friends and she’ll be starting a new school in the fall. What haven’t changed are her nightly conversations with God where she lets him know how she’s feeling.
Summary: Margaret is a fairly normal pre teen. She worries about what her friends think about her, the boy she likes, her bra size and when she’ll get her period. What Margaret worries about the most is her lack of religion. Her Christian mother and her Jewish father have raised her without religion, allowing her to make the choice when she’s older. As the year progresses Margaret tries out the religions of those around her: Catholic, Jewish, Presbyterian. None of these feel right, and while she struggles with a God that she can’t talk to in a physical building, she realizes that the God she speaks to nightly is enough.
Evaluation: Wow. Now I know what everyone has been talking about for 30 years! This is truly a wonderful novel to pre-teens approaching definitive moments in their lives and development.
Author Info: Judy Blume is the author of many books, and a strident promoter of intellectual freedom.
Challenges: Discussion of periods and breast size, pre-teens looking at playboy and anatomy books, explorative look at religion.
Selection: I’ve been meaning to read this one for the past 10 years, and it always got shuffled to the bottom of the pile.