Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Are You There God? It's Me Margaret

Author: Judy Blume
Pages: 149
Genre: Young Adult/Tween
First Published: 1986
First Line: "Are you there God?"

Synopsis: Margaret Simon is 11 years old when her parents move her from Manhattan to suburban New Jersey. Now she has a new school, has to find a new group of friends and deal with everything else that someone eleven-going-on-twelve has to deal with.

My Thoughts: It might seem a little odd for me to pick up a tween book out of the blue. I read young adult books but not usually one that deals with 11 year olds. I have to admit that with the end of the year coming quickly and me with my "100 Books in a Year" challenge I have semi-cheated and picked this book mainly because it was short. Bring on the boos and hisses. That's not to say I didn't want to read this book ... it's just that given more time I probably would have picked another read. Them's the breaks. I really want to accomplish my goal with with 9 books to go and Christmas looming I gave myself a little respite. Don't expect me to pick up "Mr Brown Can Moo, Can You?" next week though. I'm not totally focusing on childhood literature. ;)

Growing up, I was probably the only girl who never read this book. I know! Shockingly enough, I was not raised in a cave (suburban Toronto, actually). My only excuse is that at that age I was more interested in seeing what antics Nancy Drew and her cronies got themselves into than some girl named Margaret who also lived in suburbia. So now, at the ripe old age of thirty-blah-blah-blah I finally picked it up and tried to get into an 11 year old frame of mind. "Justin Bieber is soooo cute!" "Mom! You're not seriously thinking I'm going to wear THAT, are you?". Ok, I think I'm there.

Back when I was 11, I had heard from friends that this book dealt with getting your first period but other than that I hadn't heard too much more about it. I suppose when you're a tween (a term that wasn't around waaaay back in my day) the subject of menstruation trumps most book topics of that age group. Except, of course, which Corey was cuter. With that comment, I just aged myself!!

I found this to be an easy-going read (if not a little slow) that shows some of the issues and concerns that affect many tween girls. Topics such as hoping and praying that you'll finally fill out your bra (sadly, something I'm still praying for), dealing with boys and first kisses and deciding which faith to follow. I found it amusing when Margaret decides to investigate various religions because she needs to know if she'll be joining the Y or the Jewish Community Centre that summer.

The book is quite dated (it was written back in the 80's!) so there are several issues that today's tweens deal with that aren't discussed, naturally. I'm also not sure how realistic this book was when dealing with the issues of tweens. I didn't remember having most of the same feelings as Margaret (except for the whole bra thing) which made it seem a little unrelatable for me when I think back to when I was eleven.

I did find the book a little on the short side but, seeing it's actually for tweens I'll make that a wee 'moo' of a beef. I also would have liked to see more of her relationships with her grandparents and parents. How they related to Margaret as she spread her wings a bit.

This is a decent read which is a good way to open up the conversations of many topics that face tween girls.

My Rating: 3/5 stars

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