Blume, J. (1970). Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. New York: Delacorte Press.
Margaret is surprised when she gets back from summer camp and finds that her family has moved from New York City to New Jersey, where she has to go to a new school, make new friends, and try to pass the sixth grade, all while questioning her religion and when she will get her period.
This is a timeless book that has been making its way through generations. My mother read it, and recommended that I read it. I read it as a child, and re-reading it now brought back why it’s so timeless: it’s relatable. Margaret deals with problems and worries that plague all children: who am I? It is a story about growing up and trying to find your place in the world.
Blume tells the story with a simplicity and innocence that is believable and captivating. The rawness of Are You There God? Is reminiscent of the candidness of YA novel Perks of Being a Wallflower. Even though the story is structured as a conversation with God and Margaret explores her religion, one religion is not favoured over the other.
Generally, because of the topic matter and the frequent discussion of menstruation, the audience for this book will likely be girls, aged 8-12.
This is a story about growing up and reading Are You There God? is a rite of passage for young girls. It rates a 4.5 out of 5 for its classic timelessness and relatability for readers.