Book Reviews

#BlumeALong With Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

It held up! It really did and I can exhale a sigh of relief!

304917[1]

I read this book for the first time almost 30 years ago and remember feeling sneaky because it was on the banned book list for years. Getting my hands on a copy was exciting and I had to know what was in this book that people felt was “profane, immoral, and offensive” and had “themes of sex and anti-Christian behavior”.  None of those things even entered my mind while reading it. I just wanted to spend time with an author who would be honest with me. About my body, my insecurities, my fears and concerns.

My parents were pretty conservative, my father extremely, and no one talked to me about getting my period or development. It’s funny how you remember certain parts of your life in full color and I had this lab partner in 7th grade who would call me “mosquito bites” because I was a later developer. I’ll never forget how that made me feel and thought because of his rude and obnoxious comments that something was wrong with me. Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret opened up that line of communication for me in book form and made me feel that it was ok to have these insecurities but also to let nature take it’s course. And Margaret was so frank, funny and a typical 12 year old girl. At least at that time in history. And yes I did try the chant and upper body exercises to enhance my bust. Didn’t we all? It worked because the summer before 8th grade I blossomed quite generously. 😉

So I was was very excited to participate in #BlumeALong put together by Kerry from Entomology of a Bookworm.

How did it hold up? Well, it was written in 1970 and there have been a few changes since then. The original had some technical differences due to changes made in feminine products in the last 30 years. The girls also don’t have cell phones, internet, social media and things that tweens/teens would typically talk about in books written today. But it didn’t take away from the soul of the book. This was about Margaret’s inner turmoil of what it meant to bridge that gap between childhood and adolescence and boy the struggles haven’t changed. Those are the parts that resonated as a younger reader and I was pleased to know my girls will have a book that talks about these issues with honesty and humor.

As an adult, what struck me this time reading it was the discussion about religion. I didn’t pick up on that as much as a child but this time I did as a parent who is raising children without an organized religion. When asked, I tell people my children are getting a public school education and are home schooled world religion. 😉 Like Margaret’s parents, I want my children to decide what works best for them and to keep an open mind about all the possibilities out there. Yes this is fodder for another discussion but since it was in the book heavily (and in the title) I wanted to discuss how pleased I was that it’s yet again a book that can open up that dialogue for families like mine who are “figuring things out”.

Well, this has become a gushing ramble. I look forward to other comments and reviews about AYTG?IMM for those revisiting it after so many years, from those reading it for the first time, and most excitedly from my daughters who are just experiencing it as they bridge that gap from childhood to adolescent. (No, that’s not a tear in my eye).

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “#BlumeALong With Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

  1. Really really great review. I love how you talked about how it affected you then, versus what you’re taking away from it now. I had similar thoughts on the religion aspect of this book, and yes, what a great way to open up that communication.

    I also read an older version, way back when, and then again now, and though some of the references are out of date (i.e. the belt), the nature of the book really holds up, and is applicable to today, I think. So many of the issues and themes, stand the test of time, with or without cell phones, twitter, and the like.

    So glad you enjoyed your re-read? Will you be partaking in Summer Sisters as well?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s