Are You There God? It's me, Margaret

by Judy Blume

Paperback, 1970



Local notes

PB Blu


Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc. (1970)


Faced with the difficulties of growing up and choosing a religion, a twelve-year-old girl talks over her problems with her own private God.


Original publication date


Physical description

7.4 inches


0440404193 / 9780440404194



User reviews

LibraryThing member msjessicamae
I absolutely LOVED this book.

How is it that I am 25 and just now reading this for the first time? This story had so many similarities with my life at that age. Margaret is trying to decide if she believes in God while at the same time begging him to let her “get it” (“it” being her period). She has the same kind of friends I had at that age, the group with a leader. In Margaret’s case the leader of her friends was Nancy. Margaret also has to deal with her parents and trying to get them to understand the new parts of her life, like how important is it that she doesn’t wear socks on the first day of school.

There is a quote on page 64 that I could totally relate to:

“During this time I talked to Nancy every night. My father wanted to know why we had to phone each other so often when we were together in school all day.”
My dad was constantly talking to my mom about how there was something wrong with me because I was on the phone with my friends the moment I got home from school.

Even though I truly wish I had read this book in 6th grade, I wonder if I would have appreciated it as much then. I know I would have felt an intense connection with the story, but I don’t know if I would have realized all the similarities at the time. Would I have loved it just because it felt familiar? I will never know but I am glad I finally read it. Now I am going to have to read more Judy Blume.
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LibraryThing member Secret7

I loved this book when I was a child. I felt so connected to Margaret and was also very curious about her religion. Reading this again I felt like I was connecting with an old friend. nd I was reminded how difficult it is to be a child stepping into adulthood. Will always treasure this book.… (more)
LibraryThing member sharonstrickland
A simplistic view of a young pre-teen's exploration of her life and the human condition.
LibraryThing member katielder
I first read this book more than thirty years ago, as a seventh or eighth grader. I remember feeling so relieved that someone was writing about these topics, and that I might just be normal. In re-reading it so many years later, even though the social taboo has been removed from many of the subjects this books addresses, I still found the main concerns of Margaret to be as relevant as ever. In addition, reading this book as a "grown-up" gave me greater insight into the religious/God aspects of the book, which are handled in an authentic, pre-adolescent way. I guess at 12, like Margaret, I was more preoccupied with my boobs than I am now.… (more)
LibraryThing member groovymamma
God bless Judy Blume. I don't know how I or any other girl in my generation would have learned about periods and puberty, and delivered in such a fresh voice with not a false note in Margaret. We all felt her angst. Still holds up today as a great coming of age novel for a tween girl.
LibraryThing member bermudaonion
During the summer after fifth grade, Margaret Simon and her parents move from New York City to the suburbs in New Jersey. Margaret makes new friends and adjusts fairly quickly. She and her friends worry about boys, bras and their periods.

Margaret’s father is Jewish and her mother is Christian and they’ve decided that Margaret should decide what religion she wants to be when “she’s old enough.” The problem is, she’s never been exposed to any religion so she knows nothing about any of them. When Margaret has a lot on her mind, she talks to God, but never knows what to say when people ask her about religion.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume is the story of the ups and downs of Margaret Simon’s sixth grade year. I read this book for the first time for The Shelf Discovery Challenge. In her essay for Shelf Discovery, Meg Cabot describes this book by saying, “It’s all delicious stuff, deftly and humorously handled,” and I couldn’t agree more. I loved this book and just adored the character of Margaret. She is so real and just brought back junior high so vividly – those insecure years when you do silly things to try to be “normal.” I could really relate to Margaret and my heart went out to her. I felt proud of her as she learned from her mistakes and grew as a person. I think young girls would adore this book because it would serve as a reminder that even though they feel awkward and unsure of themselves, they’re really normal for their age.

Unbelievably, this book is on the list of the top 100 challenged books of 1990 – 2000, and for the life of me, I can’t understand why. There is nothing remotely offensive or suggestive in this book. If I had a young daughter, this is exactly the kind of book I would want her to read.
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LibraryThing member readasaurus
The self-conscious, confused, and endearing heroine, Margaret, makes this book a great one. Margaret faces the adolescent struggles of finding a religious identity, talking to boys, moving and making new friends, and getting her first period. Blume masterfully captures the thoughts of pre-teens. This is a great book for late elementary/early middle school girls who need a friend like Margaret.… (more)
LibraryThing member arouse77
coming of age novel read by every girl i know at about age 9. conflated the experience of menstruating to a watershed moment i do not think it would have held in my mind othterwise.

a nevertheless worthwhile read for its ability to speak sensitively to many of the concerns of the adolescent girl. social conventions, physical and emotional changes, as well as family strife are all there for the asking. offers a relatable and mostly reassuring glimpse into the life and mind of a young girl for other young girls.… (more)
LibraryThing member ragulto101
i loved this book! I first read it when I was in 5th grade. When first read it I could relate to Margaret; you know with the whole moving into a new town, new place, with new friends. Except unlike Margaret I didn't have any religious problems. I think I might read it again.
LibraryThing member Fourborne
Faced with the difficulties of growing up and choosing a religion, a twelve-year-old girl talks over her problems with her own private God.
LibraryThing member BesTb00Ks
“Are you there god>? It’s me, Margaret. We’re moving today. I’m so scared God. I’ve never lived anywhere else but here. Suppose I hate my new school? Suppose everybody there hates me. Please help me god.”
Margaret is 11 and about to be 12. She lives with her parents in an apartment in New York but she’s about to move. Margaret has to adapt to a new school, new people and new neighborhood. Do you think she can do it?
Are you There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume is an awesome book for kids who are growing up. I rate this book a 10 because you can really get in the character's head. For example, “Are you there god? Do you think I’ll get Phillip Leroy for a partner? It’s not so much that I like him as a person god, but as a boy he’s very handsome.”
Judy Blume writes magnificent books for kids –another of her awesome books is Just as Long as We’re Together. But not too quick-you need to read this one first!
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LibraryThing member bibliophile26
My all-time favorite Blume book as a child. Blume captures the feelings and thoughts of the prepubescent girl perfectly. I also thought her religious exploration was quite interesting...what I gathered is that it is best to guide children in a religious faith while asserting that as an adults, they should make their own decisions.… (more)
LibraryThing member Katie_H
Everything I know about growing up was learned from this book!
LibraryThing member BridgetteHarmon
Although Judy Blume's breakthough book was the center of significant controversy when it was first published in 1970, it is the Haley Mills of wholesomeness compared with many of the more recent books published for middle school girls. In Are You There God?, Blume follows Margaret's candid exploration of her changing body and her relationship with God. Since Margaret's mom was raised Christian and her dad was raised Jewish, her family isn't any religion, and Margaret has an intensely personal relationship with God. In her interactions with the children in her new neighborhood, however, Margaret begins to feel self-conscious about both her body and her religion. I think that Blume did a wonderful job of capturing pre-teen body angst and confusion about religion. I dealt with some of that in my own family, as my mother was a Catholic and my dad was Protestant. Still, I can see how it could be seen as negative that Blume opened the door to talking about adolescent sexuality too openly.… (more)
LibraryThing member jeriannthacker
Eleven year old Margaret is caught up with all the classic coming of age struggles (breasts, periods, boys) and some deeper issues as well (religion and family).
LibraryThing member MsNikki
Well written, never patronizing novel. I loved Margaret's habit of speaking to God as a friend. I foudn it very comforting.
And since at the time I was going through puberty myself I completely related to her concerns. Highly recommended
LibraryThing member WillowOne
Margaret is coming of age in this tale that all women go through. I read this as a child, again as a teen and as an adult. I still love it!
LibraryThing member katrinaM07
i think it is ok in some cases its not kind of book you want to read everyday for girls
LibraryThing member LibrarysCat
I suspect this book is only interesting to those of us who came of age in the 1960s or 1970s. Don't get me wrong, I loved it. But today's young people are exposed to so much, so early that I am not sure the topics which probably landed this book on the Top 100 Challenged Books 1990-2000 are really not that interesting! But for me, I remember the first time I saw an ad on television for Tampax - I thought I would die of embarrassment. This book brought back that memory. For today's young person, that is mild compared to what they see on television. At any rate, you might try to use this book as the starting point of a discussion about how television and society have changed.… (more)
LibraryThing member spartyliblover
Margaret's family moves to the suburbs and as she makes friends and starts at public school where she tries to find out which religion she is and what growing up means. Judy and her friends are well developed and Laura Hamilton's slight voice changes help to bring the characters to life. The plot is a classic story of starting at a new school, getting a bra, noticing boys, learning about lying friends, and becoming a young women. The suburban setting is perfect for this story and although most is left to reader, the setting put forth is good enough to create the scene in the readers mind. The audio book version, from 1997, is well read and keeps the listeners attention. This version of the book would be good for middle school students in a public library.… (more)
LibraryThing member marciaskidslit
Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret was first published in 1970 and is considered to be a classic in the genre of contemporary realistic fiction for young girls. The book serves as a great resource for young girls. The story also touches on the topic of gossip and how it can hurt other people. The characters in this book are very convincing and credible. Young readers will see themselves in many of the characters. Older readers will see themselves as they remember their own coming-of-age. The story moves quickly and is an easy read. Humor is interspersed and helps to lighten some of the sensitive moments. The newer paperback edition has a collage on the inner front cover that highlights many of the story’s memorable moments. The book is listed as #62 on the American Library Association’s 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000.… (more)
LibraryThing member kymmayfield
A diary of a twelve year old that is having a hard time with growing up. She is very troubled with everything from boys to religion so she takes her very private worries to God in this diary. A very cute book even tho I read it a very long time ago, i reread it occasionally. I would consider it one of my favorite books of all time.
It scored 5 out of 5.
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LibraryThing member belljargurl
As a young girl, this book made me fall in love with reading. It exemplifies what great book can do- make the reader feel as if the author is writing to you specifically because of the immediate connection you feel to the characters and what they say and how they say it.
LibraryThing member laceym19
This has to be one of the best books i read while i was growing up. I read it over and over and over. All adolescent girls should read this book!
LibraryThing member nieva21
Margaret’s self-reflections with God teach the reader that one can be able to carry on a private relationship in an on-going monologue and keep several well-developed storylines going where that protagonist is central to the plot at the same time. From the monologue, the reader will be able to see Margaret’s moral growth. The simultaneous storylines that serve in teaching us about a pre-pubescent girl’s development, her beginning the sixth grade, forming friendships with three other girls, meeting boys, keeping in touch with her grandmother, and fighting to discover her religious background and beliefs all coincide nicely. Not only does Blume manage an array of telling different topics, all with Margaret pivotal to the plot, but each of these storylines account for Margaret’s overall achievable identity. Margaret’s confusion existing in these plots is in step with her age.
Margaret Simon’s confidential monologue with God motivated me to keep reading. That secretive aspect of the text as Margaret’s verbal diary really appealed to me. It showed a depth within her as a character that transcended her age. Some people may believe that adolescents of twelve and thirteen years old don’t think this deeply about life, but Judy Blume shows us that not only are they capable of thinking beyond what they are given credit for, but society is overlooking adolescents potential
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(1770 ratings; 3.8)
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