I read this book just yesterday at work while we were on downtime, and I feel highly accomplished because I finished it in just four hours and nineteen minutes (yes, I checked) and had a little over an hour left before I’m allowed to go home. I could have started another book, but I wasn’t able to bring an extra one. I’ll keep in mind to bring two books or my e-reader next time.
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. by Judy Blume has captured my pre-teen feelings. The book is very relatable, and it made me think about my own little adventures with my friends when I was around eleven or twelve. For instance, like Margaret, I had been included in secret clubs and been given secret club names. One club my friends and I had in school was called Pie Club. I was Mango Pie. My best friend was Cutie Pie. No, seriously. I am not making this up. In another, earlier club, with a different group of friends, I was Red Marantha.
Margaret is eleven going on twelve, is in grade six, and is experiencing the problems and concerns of a young girl nearing adolescence. This book, being so truthful and realistic, makes me want to write an essay on my own experiences instead of an actual book review. But I figured that would be too personal, so I’ll try to write a proper review as best I can.
Aside from the concerns of having her period, dancing with the most good-looking boy in class in the school’s square dance, wearing a bra for the first time, and not being like the pretty, tall, and curvy Laura Danker, Margaret was also having concerns about religion. I know religion is a very sensitive topic (I actually hope it wasn’t), and I liked how Judy Blume tackled it. Margaret doesn’t belong to any religion because her parents don’t have the same one, and they let her choose her own. Throughout the whole book, Margaret talked to God about almost everything that happens in her life. I personally feel that, right from the very beginning, she has had a good relationship with God. An assignment given by their teacher (a year-long individual project where each student had to work on any topic that was very meaningful to them) had Margaret doing her research about different religions and attending different churches and temples. She wanted to know what works for her or which one she is. She found that she felt God most when she was alone.
I’ve been looking for you God. I looked in temple. I looked in church. And today, I looked for you when I wanted to confess. But you weren’t there. I didn’t feel you at all. Not the way I do when I talk to you at night. Why God? Why do I only feel you when I’m alone?
This part of the story connected with me — belonging to two religions as well — and I had almost the same feelings Margaret had about it when I was younger. Like her, I was confused and had felt that “[t]welve is very late to learn” about any religion and that it is much easier to have only one — one that we were told or assigned right when we were little — so that we can “start learning about it at an early age.” But all these feelings I only had when I was about her age, so don’t you worry, guys! But isn’t that what this age is supposed to be? Trying to figure ourselves out? And here I said I wasn’t going to write about anything personal and would write a proper book review. Anyway, I have decided that Judy Blume’s books are awesome, having read several of them and being almost always able to relate.
My final thought at the end of the book though is this (and I’m feeling a bit frustrated about it): What did Mr. Benedict, Margaret’s teacher, think about her assignment? Margaret ran away after letting her teacher read her submitted project — which was a letter — and Mr. Benedict called after her, and that was it. I was hoping to find out what his thoughts about it were.
Having obviously liked and enjoyed the book, I highly recommend it, especially to the girls who’d love to look back and think about their pre-teen days.
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. by Judy Blume was published in 1970.