Posted in popular authors, pre-teen

Review: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. By Judy Blume

Tonight’s review is of Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume.

 

image courtesy of images.scholastic.co.uk

 

What it’s about (from the publishers): Margaret Simon, almost twelve, has just moved from New York City to the suburbs, and she’s anxious to fit in with her new friends. But when the girls start talking about boys, bras and getting their first periods, Margaret starts to wonder if she’s normal. Not only does she seem to be a late developer, but there are things about growing up that she finds hard to talk about, even with her friends. Luckily for Margaret, she’s got someone else to confide in… someone who always listens.

Holly’s review: Wow. I love this book. It is amazing for girls my age and above. It is about all these girls who are competing about puberty. The main character is Margaret and she hasn’t started puberty yet which makes her feel worried and distressed wondering if she will ever start and she doesn’t want to be late, that’s a definite.

I know this book sounds all girly and weird but it’s not, it’s actually really great. And it is brilliant for girls at the age of puberty because it makes you understand more about what’s going on inside your body. But don’t worry it’s not all facts, it is still a story. Judy Blume tends to base a bit of her books around her and her family. I don’t know why – she just does. Maybe I should ask her.

I like book because … I don’t know why. I don’t see anything not to like about it. It is funny (sort of) and I don’t know… it’s just great to read. A few more things to add to this review is that the cover is incredibly girly but the book isn’t so don’t pay any attention at all to the cover.

Sam’s review: Before I say anything much, I will just qualify what Holly has said about the cover. For ages she was determined not to try Judy Blume because the recent repackaging of the books made her think that they would be all about make-up and fluffiness (not that she doesn’t like those kind of things!). I had suggested Blume’s books because she was starting to hear about puberty at school and talk about it all with her friends so thought she would find these books interesting – I remember devouring them when I was her age. Once we got past the cover (and boy, did we ever battle over that!), she couldn’t get enough of the book. And as soon as she had finished this book, she immediately started over again, separating herself from us at mealtimes so she could sit on a rug in the garden, in the recent heatwave, to read the book and occasionally eat (when reminded).

The cover used over here in the UK is therefore our biggest criticism of this book. Many of the previous ones were, I feel, more interesting and potentially appealing to all sorts of girls, rather than catering to the pink, fluffy brigade. The version I read had this cover:

image courtesy of covercafe.com

I always admired her hair, probably because mine was short!

Anyway… I loved re-reading this book with Holly, when I could wrestle it from her grasp. Even though it was 30 years or so since I read it,  I remembered it vividly and enjoyed all the pre-teen angst and curiosity within it. It was funny in places too and I didn’t feel, reading it again, that I had outgrown it even. (I would love to read about middle-aged Margaret – perhaps with a new chant ‘I must! I must! I must firm up my bust!’) Judy Blume manages to write about what every teenage girl thinks and feels in such a way that it’s like listening to a friend. It never feels preachy nor do you get the impression that you are being subtly told how to feel or think and it deals with a staggering amount of topics – puberty, first bras, first crushes, female friendships, moving house, religion. It’s an all-in-one book on most of life’s major changes, missing out only on death and losing a job.

Since reading and re-reading this book, Holly has moved on to other ones by Blume, including Deenie, Blubber and now Here’s to You, Rachel Robinson, which she has nearly finished. I expect we will be getting more reviews about these sometime soon. In the meantime, I am enjoying revisiting Judy Blume and experiencing a second pre-adolescence!

Which Judy Blume book is your favourite and why?

 

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Author:

Childtastic Books started out as a collaborative blog, written by me and my young daughter Holly. Now she's nearly a teen, she's off doing exciting and new things but I am still here, reading, writing and reviewing books for children and young adults of all ages. I miss her input but I hope she will pop in from time to time to do some guest posts! A little about me - I have just finished an MA in Children's Literature from the University of Roehampton (result pending, eeek) and am a part-time primary school librarian. The other part of my time is spent writing and editing, my own work and others, and I am waiting for my first non-fiction book to be published - a teacher resources pack for Handa's Surprise. I welcome comments and love to hear from visitors to this blog. Please note though that, because of time constraints, it is rare that I can read and review books from self-published authors. I receive so many requests and feel badly about not being able to keep up with them all. Thanks for visiting! Sam

7 thoughts on “Review: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. By Judy Blume

  1. Thank you for reminding me about this great book. I remember reading it many years ago and think it will be perfect for my 10yr old now!

    Like

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