Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. Study GuideAre you there God? It's Me, Margaret, one of Judy Blume's most successful young adult novels, was published in 1970. The book appeared only shortly after Blume began her literary career, while her young children were still in preschool. Areyou there God? It's Me, Margarethas been praised for its exploration of important adolescent themes, including puberty, menstruation, and crushes, not to mention more serious topics such as choosing a single religion to live by. It was one of the first novels of its time to touch upon these subjects, and was widely read both by young adults growing up around its publication and by members of the following generations.Blume has said that she felt like she'd always known the protagonist, Margaret, even before sitting down to write her story. When Blume was in sixth grade herself, she dealt with many of the same concerns that confronted Margaret—developing physically like the other girls, wearing a bra, and getting her period. Just like Margaret, she had a very personal relationship with God, regardless of organized religion. At the same time, though, Margaret's family is very different from Blume's own; this novel's narrative, while based in reality, is very much a product of the imagination. Blume has said that Margaret's story brought her her first and most loyal readers.Are You There God? It's Me, Margarethas won numerous literary awards. Upon its publication in 1970, it was named a New York TimesOutstanding Book of the Year. In 2005, it was placed on TimeMagazine's All-Time 100 Novels list, and in 2011, it was placed on the same publication's Top 100 fiction books writtenin English since 1923 list. The novel's success inspired Blume to write a companion book, Then Again, Maybe I Won't, which tells a similar story from a boy's perspective, though the secondary themes in this juvenile novel are considerably different.Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. SummaryMargaret Simon, eleven years-old, has lived her entire life in New York City. Yet one day her parents decide to move out to the small suburb of Farbrook, New Jersey. Margaret suspects that her parents want to get her away from her father's mother, Sylvia, who pampers her. For her own part, Margaret is about to enter the sixth grade at a brand new school, and much like the typical adolescent girl of her age, she begins to worry about issues such as boys, bras, and periods. She often speaks to God about these things, but privately—she has her own personal connection to God yet does not follow a formal religion.After making friends with three other girls her age—Nancy Wheeler, Gretchen Potter, and Janie Loomis—Margaret joins their secret club, the Pre-Teen Sensations (PTSes) in order to discuss topics such as boys
and puberty, and to experience the thrill of growing up at last. Over the course of her sixth-grade year, Margaret reaches many milestones, notably getting her first bra and having her first kiss with the handsomest boy in the class, Philip Leroy, during a game at a class dinner party.