When twelve-year-old Margaret Simon moves from NYC to suburban New
Jersey just in time for the start of sixth grade, she’s in for a long
year of drama. Not only is she facing the typical puberty issues (boys,
periods, bras and school dances), she’s in a brand new school. And to
top it off, Margaret has no religion. With a Christian mother and a
Jewish father, Margaret doesn’t fit in at either Sunday school or Hebrew
school. What’s a girl to do?
Judy Blume’s novel about the struggles and angst of adolescence has
remained popular with all girls, young and old, over the years. So what
makes it such a classic? Let’s discuss!
Which awkward social scenario in this book do you relate to the most?
The scene that I can relate to best was when Margaret has to attend the
sixth grade square dancing party. She really wants to dance with Philip
Leroy, but she’s also terrified of embarrassing herself. I remember how
nervous I was when I first had to dance with boys as part of the dreaded
dance unit in gym class. Sweaty palms, bad breath, awkward arm
placement- you name it, I was worried about it. Seriously, why don’t gym
teachers spare us the torture?
Do you and your friends have secret clubs like the PTS (Pre Teen Sensations)?
The closest I ever came to being in a secret club was Girl Scouts. My
friends and I never told anyone we were in Girl Scouts in middle school
because we were too embarrassed. But we loved it because it helped us
stick together throughout all of those awkward adolescent moments, just
like Margaret and her friends Nancy, Janie and Gretchen were able to do.
I think one of the reasons this book is such a classic is because it
proves how important friendship is. A strong group of girlfriends is
always a fabulous thing to have, no matter if you are 12, 25 or 60!
What do you think of Margaret’s experiments with religion? Would your
parents let you choose your religion, or is it important that you keep
the same religion as them?
I think Margaret is one brave chick for trying out all those different
religions. If my parents hadn’t enrolled me in religious education
classes when I was younger, I would have no idea about any of it! She’s
obviously a smart and mature gal if she takes it upon herself to
investigate and pick a religion. Major kudos to Margaret (and her
parents) for being open-minded about all the different beliefs out
If Judy Blume had written a sequel, what do you think would be in store
for Margaret in seventh grade? What kind of new challenges would she
My guess is that Margaret would finally have to tell Nancy about her
crush on Moose. This might bring up trust issues between friends, and I
think Margaret would really have to stand up for herself and be honest
about what she wants. Maybe she’d finally become friends with Laura
Danker, or realize that Philip Leroy is a jerk. Who knows, maybe she
would even begin to like drippy Norman Fishbein! Whatever happens, I bet
that Margaret will handle it with a kind and careful attitude.
What do you think? In your opinion, is Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret
a classic? Let me know!
BY AMY WILSON ON 11/1/2013 12:00:00 AM