Middle Grade Monday: Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret

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

Twelve-year-old Margaret Simon isn’t thrilled to be moving from New York City to the suburbs of New Jersey. She isn’t thrilled that she’ll be miles and miles away from her beloved grandmother. She isn’t thrilled to go to a new school. And she surely isn’t thrilled to experience all the ups and downs of being a preteen without a group of friends by her side.

But once she’s in New Jersey she starts to realize that things aren’t so bad. Her grandmother visits her, and she often visits her grandmother in New York. School is school, no matter where you are. But it’s better now that she has made friends with some of her classmates.

Nancy, Gretchen, and Janie have become fast friends. They tell each other things they wouldn’t dare tell anyone else, not even their parents. But there’s something that Margaret hasn’t even told her new friends. Margaret, though not religious, talks to God. She finds comfort in their conversations.

But will God be able to answer all of her prayers?

Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret is a classic kid lit novel written by author Judy Blume.

Author Blume is a true storyteller. Her writing is strong, and more than that it’s inviting. Young readers will easy absorb this book. They will find it incredibly honest, incredibly realistic, and incredibly realistic.

Margaret is a young girl on the verge on entering her teen years. She’s at a point where, not only is she starting to form her own opinions, she’s starting to change physically. While Margaret doesn’t necessarily fully understand all the changes her body is going through, she’s ready for them. So much so, that she welcomes them.

Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, which was originally published in 1970. But that fact doesn’t hinder nor date this book. Young readers today will easily see themselves in young Margaret.

As a character, I really liked Margaret. I felt she was a great lead character who readers will easily see her growth from the start of the book to the end. She smart, and mature. And I credit her parents to that. Not only were they caring, involved parents but they were the kind of parents who let Margaret form and have her own opinions, they let her figure things out while guiding her.

Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret deals with a lot of issues that many young girls face during those trying preteen years. And while I didn’t necessarily see myself in Margaret (I realized through reading this book that I was vastly different from the average twelve-year-old. I wasn’t praying for my body to change … at all), I feel like many young girls will. And still, I feel that those growing pains and all those issues that girls face are addressed with honestly and with grace.

Going into the reading of this book, I didn’t expect to like it. Why? Mainly because I haven’t been a twelve-year-old girl in quite some time. But I was surprised to find that I did enjoy this book. I enjoyed it because I had a chance to think back to that time in my own life. Beyond that, I realized that this is a classic for a reason – it’s universal. Generations of young readers will discover and devour this book. If you haven’t read Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, I would definitely recommend you do – no matter how old you are.

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