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  • Writer's pictureSeema M. Fazil

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

Title: Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

Author: Judy Blume

Release Date: First published January 1, 1970

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Purchase: Amazon

Add it on Goodreads

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆.5


Margaret shares her secrets and her spirituality in this iconic Judy Blume novel, beloved by millions.
Margaret Simon, almost twelve, likes long hair, tuna fish, the smell of rain, and things that are pink. She’s just moved from New York City to Farbook, New Jersey, and is anxious to fit in with her new friends—Nancy, Gretchen, and Janie. When they form a secret club to talk about private subjects like boys, bras, and getting their first periods, Margaret is happy to belong.
But none of them can believe Margaret doesn’t have religion, and that she isn’t going to the Y or the Jewish Community Center. What they don’t know is Margaret has her own very special relationship with God. She can talk to God about everything—family, friends, even Moose Freed, her secret crush.
Margaret is funny and real. As you read her story, you’ll know why this book has been the favorite of millions of readers. It’s as if Margaret is talking right to you, sharing her secrets with a friend.


My Review:

I first heard about Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret was during the times when I studied library. Reading the children's literature textbook that was required in the course at the time, the book had been mentioned many times; how popular it is and the fact that it had been banned. Later, I eventually decided to get it (I was really excited when I found it in stock at the bookstore!) after hearing a lot about how popular it is and the fact that Judy Blume is beloved by many readers. Not that Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret was my first Judy Blume book; I've read her books previously, like in elementary school, but don't remember much about them. So now that I've got a different perspective as an adult, I was really excited to discover her and see what all the fuss was about her. I was also excited to get back to reading middle-grade as I missed them alot. Started with Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret is a middle-grade novel about growing up and hitting puberty. It's a book that would be awkward for boys to read since it talked a lot about girl stuff such as getting periods and bras. 🤭 Also, it's about finding religion. To be honest, I really don't know how I feel about the book. After I finished it, I instantly got mixed feelings about it and had difficulty rating it. Couldn't decide between one or two stars (yes, unfortunately, I didn't like it very much). Eventually settled on a 1.5 star. Okay, so as a big fan of realistic fiction, in the beginning, I was impressed with how realistic it is; the accuracy of what pre-teen girls go through and think. But then later, I started to get uncomfortable... Yeah sure, the realisticness of what pre-teen girls go through and think may have been impressive, but that absolutely doesn't mean I think it's okay for 11-year-old girls to talk about these things such as nudity and boys. No wonder it had been banned. Maybe Blume should have acknowledged that somehow. Honestly, the book was such a disappointment - I really expected it to be better than that! I was really hoping to like it, but most of the time, I felt as if I was reading about someone's just regular, everyday life. Then there were some things I didn't get. For instance, despite the students not writing their names on their test papers, how did the teacher figure out which test belonged to whom? (Yup, I'm that person who pays close attention to details, so bear with me 🤭) Also, I didn't get why ***Spoiler*** Margaret continued talking to Nancy like nothing happened despite the fact she lied to her. ***Spoiler*** Finally, it's somewhere near the end of the book that really pissed me off and caused the one star. There was a point where Margaret was really angry with God and said offensive things about Him that made me cringe. I would have liked to see her face the consequences of that! Honestly, how I wanted to reach across the pages and give her a good slap! Another thing I would like to point out is that when referring to God, it should always ALWAYS be capitalized, as respect for our Creator. For instance,

Are you there God? It's me, Margaret. (The 'you' SHOULD be capitalized!)

Also, I really don't agree with this BS that it's "too late to choose a religion". There are many people in this world who turned their lives around and became religious.

In the end, basically, the only thing I can say I liked about it was how it stood up against bullying. And that's all.

Overall, unfortunately, I mostly thought Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret was a pointless book with no real plot. As I said, mostly just regular everyday things that I didn't get anything out of - could've been better. I regret putting my money in it. Also, I know this may sound unpopular, but kids should not read this.

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