Nicole's Reviews > Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
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really liked it
bookshelves: middle-grades, mlis-7423, ya, banned-books

Oh, the joys of being a preteen. This book brought back so many awkward memories of my own coming-of-age--secret clubs with intimate discussions about boys and boobs, period woes, and everything in between.

What stuck out the most for me was the constant tug-of-war with regard to religion. Poor Margaret speaks to God every night, but is tasked by her surrounding peers to pick a side. Her parents chose not to actively practice any religion and leaves Margaret the choice of selecting her own should that day ever come. The grandmother she treasures is absolutely sure that Margaret is a Jewish girl, while the scarcely seen grandparents from her mother's side practically force Christianity upon her by way of a maternal lineage declaration.

I loved how Margaret explored each one--even a religion neither of her parents belonged to--to see how she could find God and pick the best religion for her. However, she realizes that while God strongly resonated within her, in the established places of practice she could not feel Him. She asks Him, "Why do I only feel you when I'm alone?"

This reminded me of a totally different book. In The Color Purple, there are also moments when the presence of God is questioned in a place of worship. Shug declares to Celie that "Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me." I felt that Margaret, while still exploring what God meant to her, was on her way to figuring out this very same sentiment. In fact, by the end of the story she’s on speaking terms with God again. It was a very authentic portrayal of the ebb and flow of the uncertainty of religion experienced by those who aren’t sure where they belong or what they should practice.

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Reading Progress

January 18, 2021 – Started Reading
January 18, 2021 – Shelved
January 18, 2021 – Shelved as: middle-grades
January 18, 2021 – Shelved as: mlis-7423
January 18, 2021 – Shelved as: ya
January 18, 2021 – Shelved as: banned-books
January 18, 2021 – Finished Reading

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