Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret. We’re moving today. I’m so scared God. I’ve never lived anywhere but here. Suppose I hate my new school? Suppose everybody there hates me? Please help me God. Don’t let New Jersey be too horrible. Thank you.
A few days ago I was at the library and saw this book on the banned books display. I hadn’t read this since I was a pre-teen and seeing the title brought back so many memories of my life then, I had to check this out again.
For those of you who don’t know, the protagonist of the story is Margaret, an twelve year-old girl who has just moved to New Jersey from New York with her parents. She has the same worries that most kids that age have like fitting in, making new friends, and having crushes. She has a relationship with God, who she’s always talking to but worries about her non-religious status because her mom was born a Christian and her dad a Jew. She sees the way that religious differences can divide a family, sometimes forever. What makes this book a classic though is how realistic Blume makes Margaret’s growing pains. Margaret is at that ripe age where she starts to worry (and hope) over getting her period soon and her growing body. Blume doesn’t talk down to tweens and teens but talks to them with this book.
I have no idea why this book has been banned. Is it because Margaret has an open but non-religious relationship with God? Or the fact that she explores religion by visiting different places of worship? Is it all the talk about menstrual cycles and pads? No matter what the reason is, it’s not good enough to ban this book. Instead of being banned, this book needs to be given out to kids. Parents can use it as a starting point in discussions about crushes, religion, God, and more. I plan on giving this book to my little sisters and daughter.
Have you read this before? What are your thoughts? What Judy Blume book is your favorite?