Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume, Book Review
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume is one of the books that I should have read by now, but hadn’t. It’s a fascinating experience to look at a children’s book through the eyes of an adult. Although I grew up in a developing country, and we did not have a telephone to call friends and speak to them, I still enjoyed the story. I was born in Savanna-la-mar in Westmoreland, Jamaica, and my friends and I walked a few miles to get to and from school, and a lot of our conversations took place then. I went to high school in Kingston, Jamaica and sometimes I would walk with my friends because the transportation system at the time wasn’t that reliable.
If you are an adult, Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume will take you back in time, and you will remember when you were in Grade 6 and the things that mattered to you then. Although this is a children’s book, there are some lessons very suitable for an adult audience, a very big one being, do not believe everything that you hear – question things. Question the things that people say to you, even family and friends.
Margaret Simon’s parents move to Farbrook, New Jersey from Manhattan. She believes that they moved because her parents think that her paternal grandmother was visiting too frequently. Shortly after they arrive at their new residence on Morningbird Drive, they have a visitor. Nancy Wheeler, who is Margaret’s age, 11 1/2, has come welcome her into the neighbourhood. Nancy appears to be a leader, taking the initiative, trying to guide others.
Nancy forms a secret club called the Pre-Teens Sensations (PTS), with four members – Nancy, Margaret, Janie Loomis, and Gretchen Potter. At the first meeting they decide on the rules for their club. One of the rules being that they have to keep a Boy Book where they write down the name of the boys that they like. Margaret doesn’t like the rule but she plays along and when the moment arrives when they are sharing the information, in her book she writes down the name of the best looking guy in her class, Philip Leroy, instead of Moose Freed, who is a few years older.
The pre-teen sensations are in the same class and so is Laura Danker, whose body is far more developed that the other girls her age. Because of that she has developed a reputation, and in fact, Nancy has told Margaret that Laura was behind a building with her brother Evan and best friend Moose. Of course, Margaret believes what Nancy has told her. Another club rule, this one by Nancy, is that each member has to wear a bra. Margaret doesn’t need a bra because she isn’t developed yet, but she asks her mom to take her shopping. Nancy also wants to know when each person gets their period so they can talk about what it is like.
One of the interesting things about Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume is that Margaret has these one-sided conversations with God. Her mom is estranged from her parents because she married Margaret’s father who is Jewish, so now her family is non-religious, and they have told Margaret that when she gets older she can decide if she wants to be Jewish or Christian.
In Farbrook you have to be either Christian or Jew, so it’s mind boggling for people when they discover that Margaret is neither. This creates some stress so Margaret decides to explore each faith, and she attends the synagogue with her grandmother and the church with a friend. She also asks God to help her decide. The conversations that Margaret has with God are delightful yet funny – she is asking that she grows some boobs and that she gets her period.
The book also reminds us that things are seldom what they seem. For instance, Gretchen gets her period first, and she tells the group what it is like. Shortly after, Nancy and her family go on a trip and she sends a postcard to Margaret saying, “I got it,” implying that her period started. But in reality that is a lie, and Margaret is with Nancy when her period actually starts. At that point, Margaret realizes that Nancy isn’t always truthful.
Because Margaret is naïve she hurts Laura Danker needlessly by believing the lies Nancy has been spreading about the other pre-teen. The good news is that Margaret now knows not to believe everything that Nancy says. In Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume, it first appears that Nancy is a leader, but that isn’t the case, the real leader is Margaret.
If you have never read Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, it’s worth the read – I recommend it. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. Liked this post? Share it and subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!
Author Bio: Avil Beckford, an expert interviewer, entrepreneur and published author is passionate about books and professional development, and that’s why she founded The Invisible Mentor and the Virtual Literary World Tour to give you your ideal mentors virtually in the palm of your hands by offering book reviews and book summaries, biographies of wise people and interviews of successful people.
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