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